Mancos High School’s small Class of 2018 spent its commencement on Friday reminiscing about the good times they’d had in school and looking to the future.
Twenty-four graduates, many of whom had been in the Mancos School District since kindergarten, received their diplomas in a well-attended ceremony in the school’s Performance Center. Most of the students plan to go on to college, although some will go into the military or the workforce.
A series of speakers, including valedictorian Ashley Cole and salutatorian Zane Wilson, urged graduates to carry the values they learned in school with them, wherever they go.
In his opening remarks, Secondary Principal Adam Priestley focused on the graduates’ achievements, particularly in athletics, where the boys’ high school teams have won several championships in football, wrestling and other sports over the past four years.
The graduates prepared statements to be read while they received their diplomas, thanking family, friends and teachers for helping them get through school.
Several members of the class also made short videos describing their favorite elementary, middle and high school memories, which were played during the senior slideshow.
Each speaker also tried to advise students how to navigate the world after graduation. In her commencement address, former Mancos Middle School science teacher Kelly Gregory gave “a very brief survival guide to being an adult.” She advised students to work hard, try new things and make time for family, illustrating each point with pictures and stories from her own life.
“Learning does not end when you leave the classroom,” she said. “Every time I travel to a new city, a national park, and especially another country, I learn so much and get a new perspective on life.”
The valedictorian and salutatorian encouraged their classmates to dream big. In his speech, Wilson cited the “practically impossible” statistical odds against any one person existing at any one time.
“We are all impossible beings, and that means that every person in here is capable of impossible things,” he said.
Cole spent her valedictorian speech encouraging graduates to embrace change.
“As we enter the new world of post-high school life, whether that means college or the workforce, we will begin to fully understand who we are,” she said.