Education column: Accomplishments deserve recognition

Sitting in the audience of Eastern New Mexico University’s amazing holiday concert last weekend, I noticed, amid the performers, a number of former Clovis Municipal Schools students.

The musical evening consisted of two full performances the same night, both to packed houses, with remarkable diversity of musical selections. From the chamber choir’s singing a seventh century “plainsong” (Gregorian chant) as they filed onto the stage; to the combined choirs’ performances of a considerable array of pieces, these young adults were outstanding. The symphonic band, also generously populated with former Clovis students, followed with selections equally unique and diverse, such as “Christmas Through the Looking Glass,” a medley of carols arranged in minor keys and “The Night Before Christmas,” recited by ENMU professor Michael Shaughnessy ENMU to the rich, evocative accompaniment of the symphonic band.

The evening culminated with the combined ENMU choir members filtering throughout the audience, and, with all standing — including the audience — lifting one voice in a powerful medley of traditional carols, highlighted by the Eastern New Mexico Children’s Choir singing “Silent Night” in the original German. Standing alongside others, listening to the voices raised, seeing the glowing faces of those musical students was one of those rare, spine-tingling moments that’s a special gift.

Prompted to consider what brings these young adults to a place like this, it seems involvement, supported by both parents and educators, figures prominently into the mix. Whether involvement in music, academics, clubs, sports, or other groups, it’s the “getting involved” that is key. Involvement is critical because it requires investment in something larger, something greater than oneself, the result of which might be the supreme satisfaction of a brilliant moment in time, or in the creation of something more solid and tangible. Regardless, it calls upon the individual to reach deep within to call upon the gifts and talents they’ve received.

This is part of the process contributing to great accomplishment, however accomplishment is measured; whether a world-class musician, renowned surgeon, outstanding parent, inspiring classroom teacher, or a well-known public servant. Regardless of the accomplishment, the seeds leading to success are often sown in our classrooms, and it becomes worth our while to pause, now and again, to celebrate those individuals who have risen to challenges and brought the seeds to fruition.

The CMS Education Foundation and the CMS Alumni Association are in the process of planning the Hall of Honors Awards Program to “recognize and honor former graduates of Clovis High whose achievements, strengths of character and citizenship serve as models to inspire and challenge today’s students.”

Nominations for this year’s Hall of Honor recipients are due by Jan. 17. Take a moment to consider an individual whom you believe to be a worthy recipient of a Hall of Honor award and take action to highlight that individual’s accomplishments. Information is available at or by calling central office at 575-769-4300.

American writer, Orison Marden noted: “The greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given him.”

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at