Freedom New Mexico: Karl Terry Tanya Gossett gets a hug from from guidance counselor Carolyn Van Wettering as she crosses the stage to receive her diploma during Friday’s Portales High School graduation held at Greyhound Arena. She was among 159 graduates.
By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico
It was a ceremony that commemorated the end of high school and the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of the Portales High Schools’ Class of 2008.
The seniors sat patiently Friday night in Greyhound Arena as they heard the speeches and received their diplomas. Just two things stood in their way, the turning of the class rings and tassels.
With simple hand movements and a flick of a wrist the class of 2008 was announced, then red and black hats filled the air.
“I am happy that it is finally done,” Tanya Gossett said.
“It feels like I should wake up tomorrow and go to school,” Samantha Miller said.
Salutatorian Sunny Liu said before the ceremony he felt he had one more homework assignment to turn in before he graduated.
That assignment was his salutatorian address, in which he quoted his father, and gave his fellow classmates words of encouragement and insight.
Liu felt that until he gave that speech that he would not fully feel the impact of graduation, however, that was not the case once the processional began.
“It hit me the instant I walked out in the procession,” Liu said. “When I was giving my speech I had the warm feeling in my chest, something I can only describe as good and never wanting to let it go.”
It was different for Samantha Garcia, who was not nervous about walking or graduating at all. For her it was one last song to be sung with her classmates and choir friends.
“We are going to sing a song that was written by our choir director Franklin Smith,” Garcia said before the ceremony started. “We’ve been practicing for three weeks and I am hoping that It all goes well.”
While the class sat listening to the speakers and songs, they began to bounce around colorful beach balls. While some made it from front to back some were not so lucky and met with an untimely fate.
“That was the most memorable moment for me,” Miller said. “Gage (Franz) who was sitting next to me kept knocking the beach ball into the air.”