Seniors bounce a beach ball during the moving of the tassles at Clovis High School graduation ceremonies on Saturday morning. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
A festive crowd gathered Saturday in the Rock Staubus Gymnasium to bid farewell to the Clovis High School class of 2006.
In purple gowns and white sashes, 332 graduates lined the gymnasium floor. Beaming with smiles, friends and family surrounded the graduates.
Kneeling down to capture the graduation of her daughter, Kristie Leighann, on camera, Uresa Mata felt “overwhelmed.”
“She is my only daughter,” the mother said.
Other parents shared Mata’s sentiments, calling out their children’s names to snap photos or shoot videos during the ceremony. The high school parking lot overflowed with traffic, and attendants of the ceremony filled adjacent lots.
School board members, Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm and Clovis High School faculty were present to congratulate the graduates.
Three graduating seniors were chosen by the students to speak at the ceremony: Lindsey Wilkins, Shauma Brown and Mary Cate Burns.
Wilkins dubbed the graduation “bittersweet.”
“Think about this gym. Think about how times we’ve walked through it,” an emotional Wilkins said.
“We have a responsibility,” Brown told her classmates, peppering her speech with bits of humor wedged between serious sentiments, “to have a dream. Now that this is happening (graduation), make another goal.”
Burns transformed her moment to address the audience into an opportunity to thank her parents, and the parents of all the graduates, for their support.
She urged her fellow classmates to become “self-actualized adults.”
Of the class of 2006, 18 seniors graduated with 4.0 grade point averages, 29 earned National Honor Society membership and 50 graduated with honors.
• 15 — students say they are joining the military
• 34 — students say they are entering the workforce
• 90 — students say they are going to a two-year college or a vocational school
• 169 — students say they are going to a two-year college
Source: CHS counselors