Nearly 250 graduates to earn diplomas
The San Juan School District will award diplomas to nearly 250 graduates this week at services across the sprawling district.
It was a school year like no other in 2020-2021, with no in-class instruction for half of the schools in the district. The other schools operated under strict guidelines, including mandatory masks for most of the school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the challenges, it is one of the largest graduating classes in recent years.
The first high school graduation service is at Monticello High School on Wednesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. where 51 graduates are set to receive diplomas.
The Valedictorian of the class is Paul Reay and the Salutatorian is Kennedy Brewer.
The guest speaker at the ceremony is history teacher Lynda Boyle.
The school is providing eight tickets for each student for th eservice, which will be held in the high school auditorium.
Ninety-six seniors are set to receive diplomas from San Juan High School on Thursday, May 27 at 5 p.m. in the high school auditorium
The number of students graduating with honors (a grade point average of 3.8 or above) totals 28.
Jeanna Grover is the guest speaker for the graduation service.
Seven graduates are set to receive diplomas from Navajo Mountain High School at their “Drive In” graduation services on Friday, May 28 at 9:30 a.m. The graduates include Valedictorian Chaydin Atene
and Salutatorian Triniqua Smith.
Principal Gary Rock, School Board Member Nelson Yellowman and Assistant Superintendent Christine Fitzgerald will be at the podium up front. Families will be in the parking lot in their cars (with three vehicles per graduate allowed). Graduates will be seated six feet apart on the sidewalk. In case of inclement weather, the graduates will be in the cars with their families.
Monument Valley High School will present diplomas to 51 graduates on Friday, May 28 beginning at 1 p.m. at the football field
The top graduates include Valedictorian Alexa Laws and Salutatorian Caleb Lameman.
The featured speaker at the ceremony is Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, who is a member of the Arizona State House of Representatives. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in Science, Technology, and Society with a concentration in the Environment and Sustainability and a minor in Native American Studies. She also received her Juris Doctor from Arizona State University and is a member of the Arizona State Bar Association.
Prior to becoming a state representative, Jasmine worked for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Office of General Counsel, the Navajo Nation Office of Legislative Counsel, and the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.
The final graduation event of the year is at Whitehorse High School, where 40 students are set to receive diplomas.
The outdoor, private graduation ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on May 27. The graduation is by invitation only and a guest list will be used at the entrance.
Students graduating with Highest Honors include RueShunda Jim, Kassidy Lee, Xavier Martin, and Sunshine White.
Whitehorse students graduating with honors are Joy Parker, Tyra Redhouse, and Diana Whitehair.
The featured speaker is Georgiana Simpson, the Whitehorse High School Art Instructor and 2021 WHS Teacher of the Year. She was selected as the Sorenson Legacy Award recipient for Arts Education.
Additional services are being held at other schools in the district. They include services before the paper was published for elementary school students in Bluff and for eighth grade students in Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley.
Other services on May 26 are for students in the La Sal and Montezuma Creek elementary schools. Students leaving Monticello and Blanding elementary schools will be honored on May 27, while students leaving Albert R Lyman Middle School will be honored May 28.