By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
For the 56 Tucumcari High School graduates, Friday’s ceremony in front of their families, friends, underclassmen and teachers marked both the end and beginning of a journey.
“All of us will have to face failure to make it to success,” said valedictorian Ashlee Bradley in her commencement speech to her classmates.
Bradley said it is important that graduates remember not to let one failure keep them from success. She said even the most successful people in history have faced failure on their life’s journey.
“Don’t let a couple of failures keep you from changing the world,” Bradley said.
Bradley said as the graduates prepare to take the next step, they should first recognize those who had an impact on their time at Tucumcari High School.
“Educators, advisors and those who constantly pushed us, we thank you for all the time you have invested in our education,” Bradley said.
Bradley said those individuals “kept us on track and focused on what in the beginning seemed like an unattainable goal.”
She added, “Without all of the hard work and dedication of those people guiding us along our journey we would not be sitting today in this gym prepared to take the next step in our life’s journey.”
It was that next step that Jose Grajedea said prompted him to arrive at graduation an hour before the ceremony’s start
“I’ve been waiting all week for this,” Grajedea said. “It’s the last step I have to take as a student of Tucumcari High School.”
Grajedea wasn’t the only soon to be graduate ready for the day’s events to commence.
“I was up at 9 a.m., to attend the graduation practice and planned to dye my hair,” said Melissa Gardea.
However, Gardea said her plans soon took a turn for the worst when the hair-dying did not go as planned.
“I have to say ‘thank you’ to the hair stylist who worked her magic, allowing me to avoid disaster,” Gardea said.
However, disastrous situations were not limited to the seniors in wait. Michelle Shipley Jaynes, mother of graduate Kinley Jaynes, had spent the previous 12 hours in a frantic state, much like many graduates’ parents.
However, Jaynes’ frantic state began when her laptop operating system went into an update mode the night before graduation.
“I looked at my computer and it was updating the operating system, I didn’t tell it to do that, but it was well on its way,” Jaynes said.
Normally, this would not have been an issue, but for Jaynes it was a major issue, as the laptop was needed to play the senior class tribute video put together by the seniors’ parents.
Jaynes’ misfortunes took a comical turn as graduation approached. As Jaynes was walking into the Snake Pit to set up for the event, the compact disc with the senior video slipped out from the laptop and began to roll across the parking lot.
“All that could have gone wrong, went wrong, but in the end it was all worth it,” Jaynes said.
The seniors waited anxiously in a hallway, like so many times before, only this time would be their last as classmates.
The stands, filled with family and friends, all rose as the seniors, whose wait was over, made their entrance to “Pomp and Circumstance.”
After the presentation of diplomas and turning of the tassels, the seniors were congratulated for their achievement and introduced at the Class of 2016.
“I’ve only been with this group of people for a year, yet I have developed friendships that will last a lifetime,” said THS graduate Clay Carter.
Carter said despite the short time, it was an amazing experience to attend Tucumcari High School.
“Now that it is all over I am sad,” said another graduate, Daniel Lopez. “I’m going to miss everyone so much. I almost wish I could go back to my freshman year and do it all over again.”