Taking the next step

Thomas Garcia

Fifty-five members of the Class of 2009 bid farewell to their days as Tucumcari Rattlers Friday night at the Rattler Gym.

Parents, family, friends and underclassmen filled the Rattler Gym to watch the graduating class of 2009 one last time.

“I was so nervous I did not know what to expect,” said graduate Jessica Rey.

The graduates had a special guest speaker who they all knew well, Assistant Superintendent Dennis Roch. His message was one of promise and challenge.

“We are here to celebrate your success,” Roch said. “Though this is not the end of your success it is but the beginning.”

Salutatorian Rebecca Lopez reminisced about the journey she and her classmates made from elementary to last night.

“We have all shared so many special moments,” Lopez said. “Some of them will stay with us for the rest of our lives as we go our separate ways.”
Roshan Patel’s valedictorian address to his classmates was filled with thoughts of perseverance and determination.

“Be thankful for who you are,” Patel said. “This is your day.”

After the seniors received their diplomas, they met their parents at center court for a loving embrace and the turning of their tassel.

“When they called my daughter’s name, I felt like the proudest father in the world,” said Alvin Benavidez. “My daughter has worked so hard for this moment.”

With diplomas in hand, the class of 2009 eagerly awaited for the final decree from Tucumcari High School Principal David Castillo, that they had finally graduated.

Cheers and hats filled the air as those words that these students have waited 13 years to hear echoed throughout the Rattler Gym.
“I give you the graduating class of 2009,” Castillo said.

Everyone gathered outside of the Rattler Gym to exchange graduation congratulations.

“It feels so good to get my diploma,” said Michelle Benavidez.

“This is just the beginning in another step in our life,” said Kadi Powers. “This is a very great accomplishment for all of us.”