MONTE VISTA — The Sargent High School gymnasium had at least 500 people, anxiously awaiting the class of 2022, as 25 students marched in eager to graduate on Friday, May 27.
To begin the ceremony Teacher of the Year James Holmes and Staff Member of the Year Shelly Vanderpool were announced.
Salutatorian Montana Younkerman then approached the podium and began to speak.
“All of us here have accomplished something great. I know some of you are thinking, I didn’t do anything or thinking about how some people here may not have really accomplished something that good, but all of you here today were able to graduate," Younkerman said. "You’ve accomplished something that more than 25 percent of the United States is unable to achieve. We made it through the struggles that we went through, and now we are going into what the adults out there call 'The Real World.' This time in our lives is so important, we are making some of the most important decisions in our lives. We are moving all over the world or staying here. No matter your decision, this is such a valuable time in each one of our lives.”
Younkerman went on to say that she hoped that her fellow students had great support to help them through their lives.
She concluded by saying,” Lastly, I just want to say thank you class of 2022. You have taught me things that I will always look back on with a smile upon my face," she said. "Thank you to my mom for teaching me how to be strong, and how to love even when I sometimes don’t feel loved in return. Thank you to my dad for teaching me about my love for all things outdoors. My brothers have always been people I have looked up to my whole life. I am grateful for this opportunity. I love each one of you guys, and I am grateful to see where our lives lead. Congratulations class of 2022.”
Valedictorian Ashlyn Rockey also spoke at the ceremony.
“Today is a day to be inspired. We made it, you made it. Each one of you made it to this very moment," Rockey said. "At times we didn’t think we could do it, well we are here. I stand before you looking back at 4 years of a legacy, we all leave together. I would like to thank all the individuals who took the time and effort to get us to this moment.”
Rockey went on to talk about how her father would call people “good farmers”, and the meaning behind good farmers. Rockey said that good farmers are dedicated and always strive to do good in the world.
“So, now let us go out into the world and be our own good farmers, whatever that might look like for you," Rockey said. "That’s all I have Sargent High School grads, congratulations on all your hard work to get you to this moment. Let’s go ride this life with pride.”
Rockey then introduced the next Valedictorian, Taylor Rockey. Taylor said, “Welcome beloved family, teachers, administration, and staff. As I stand here today, I can’t help but look back at the memories of everything this class has endured. We’ve been through a lot together and faced many changes along the way. Just like everything else in life, everything must change. Change to each of us looks different. I have personally learned that with change good things come. Experiencing a global pandemic halfway through our high school years was no easy thing, but it’s a prime example of how change regardless of how extreme it may seem can shape us.”
Taylor Rockey went on to say, “To my class, I hope that each of you continues to embrace the changes about to come with a smile on your face. I hope you accept the challenge and persevere no matter how hard. A final thank you to my class. I will forever be grateful for all the wonderful memories we have shared. I wish each one of you good luck.”
Taylor Rockey then introduced the third Valedictorian, Katherine Sewell.
Sewell said, "It’s real now. As I write these words, I realize that this speech marks the day that I say goodbye to Sargent High School and the day that I say goodbye to Sargent. I remember when this high school was built, and my sister and I got our names written on the bricks that lined the sidewalks by the preschool. I could never imagine the year 2022."
Sewell went on to talk about the memories that she had in school, including homework and class trips, and even pandemic memories of being quarantined. Sewell also spoke of a Sargent alumni member that went to the school and told the students of her experience at Sargent and how the experience had shaped her into who she was today.
"We are lucky enough to be graduating today having survived a global pandemic, the death of Betty White, and other things, but we don’t want to get too negative,” Sewell said.
Sewell ended her speech by saying thank you to everyone in Spanish because as she stated, she was proud to learn Spanish as part of her high school experience.
“I am proud of us, class of 2022, and I know we will grow wherever we are planted,” she said.
A tribute was also given to Librarian Diana Rice by Kamryn Holland.
“Mrs. Rice has been the librarian through all our 13 years at Sargent," Holland said. "Everyone that knew her will recognize her by her love of books, animals and kids. The lessons our class have learned from Mrs. Rice goes far beyond reading. In the past, our class watched as Mrs. Rice fought and beat Leukemia. Sadly, this past year Mrs. Rice was diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. She has shown such strength, perseverance, and heart, and has been such a great example for us all of determination. To Mrs. Rice, the class of 2022, would like to thank you for helping us become the individuals you see on the stage today. We wouldn’t be the same people without your lessons, guidance, and nicknames. Thank you for being an example of character and strength and thank you for being a friend to us all. We are with you always and you have a special place in each of our hearts. Thank you.”
The Sargent senior class then showed a slide show of the students that had been put together. The class then gave out their appreciation of flowers and love to their family and friends that were at the graduation and provided support to them.
The Sargent School District Board of Education then presented the students with their diplomas. One by one each of the students was called up and received their diplomas. The closing of the ceremony was the class moving their tassels and throwing their caps in the air.