University High School seniors and their loved ones gathered at the Wool Bowl Thursday night for their 2019 commencement ceremony.
In all, 40 of the 44 members of the graduating class donned a gown and mortar board, as they walked across a stage on the football field, ending one chapter of their lives to begin another.
Family and friends of the graduates were in the bleachers throughout the 30-minute ceremony, unleashing cheers, applause and firing off small confetti cannons in celebration.
Art Sandoval, University High’s assistant principal, opened the ceremony by speaking to the crowd.
“Before me, I see some of the finest young men and women in our community, state and nation,” he said.
Daisy Delon was class valedictorian and Casandra Quezada was the salutatorian.
Joel Wood, lead pastor of Waymaker Church, gave the commencement address and told graduates that the occasion was proof commitment and hard work are worth the effort. However, he told the graduates that the day was the start of the next chapter in their lives, but also serves as a launching pad for their future and destiny.
“There are many days ahead where the pages of your story are yet to be written. That story will be written one day, choice and decision at a time,” he said.
Wood added that graduates should become lifelong learners, align their lives with their goals and to not be afraid to take risks.
“Don’t settle for the easy way. There are too many people wasting the possibilities of their life on that same road,” Wood said.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.