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Goddard High graduates embrace future

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One of the largest classes in Goddard High School history, with 227 students receiving diplomas, listen to speeches Saturday night during the school’s 54th annual commencement exercises at the Wool Bowl. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)
“This is the beginning of the rest of our lives. May your future hold all that you ask for and more,” Goddard High School valedictorian Caitlin Moore, center, tells her fellow graduates Saturday night. Co-salutatorians Spenser Willden, left, and Quan Vu stand with her prior to commencement exercises. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Blue and white gowns filled a portion of the Wool Bowl field Saturday night as 227 graduates of Goddard High School received their diplomas in a ceremony in which students talked of hopes of bright futures, fond remembrances of each other and their teachers, and the lessons learned from the years spent together.

The 54th annual commencement exercises saw one of the school’s largest graduation classes, and Principal Brian Luck expressed his pride in the students.

“Before me, I see some of the finest men and women in the state of New Mexico,” he said.

Eleven students spoke at the ceremony. Senior class president Vittoria Price gave the welcome, while three student body officers introduced school administrators and Roswell Independent School District Board of Education members. Speeches were given by valedictorian Caitlin Moore, the co-salutatorians Spenser Willden and Quan Vu, as well as three of their friends who introduced them. The class address was given by Nathaniel Tavarez.

Using the analogy of dealing with the four elements of the physical world, Tavarez said that, to achieve their goals, his classmates will need to have the courage to climb mountains and tread the troughs, fight the opposing wind, step into the fire and jump into the water.

“If you take hold of the elements with pride, passion, ambition, optimism and integrity, you will see that the earth provides the ground and the path which we walk, that the wind contains the refreshing air we breathe and helps to revive our souls, that the fire is a burning reminder of our will to fulfill our purpose with the passion and great power that has been gifted unto us, and that the water soothes the hurt, heals the pain and relieves the stress.”

Moore said that she hoped her fellow graduates have been able to answer three questions after their high school years: who are you, what brought you here and who do you want to be?

She talked about how she and her classmates are the next generation of Americans who have a duty and privilege to make America a better place. She spoke about how parents, friends and teachers brought her to this point in her life, and she wished her classmates well in their continued search for identity and purpose.

“Who do you want to be? Obviously, I can’t speak for all for you,” she said. “All I can say is that I hope that over the past four years you have been learned what that question means to you and how you want to answer it. … Follow your dreams, discover your passions, and continue to strive for greatness. So without any further ado, congratulations, Class of 2019. This is merely the beginning of the rest of our lives. May your future hold all that you ask for and more.”

The entire graduation ceremony can be viewed online at ksvptv.com.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.