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The One Where They Graduate: DHS Class of 2021 says goodbye

Posted by: tdt -

The One Where They Graduate: DHS Class of 2021 says goodbye

By Bill Kelly


After a long year that began with uncertainty, masks, quarantines and virtual school, the Dalhart High Class of 2021 was able to graduate in fairly normal circumstances as their senior year ended with the COVID-19 pandemic basically under control in the local area.

The commencement ceremony took place in Memorial Stadium on Thursday, May 27. The school did take the precaution of limiting the number of tickets that were made available for graduation and had family members sit on both sides of the stadium instead of just the home side to facilitate social distancing, but otherwise the ceremony was basically the same as all other graduation ceremonies in the past, with the exception of last year’s drive-by graduation.

The ceremony began with the seniors walking into the stadium and around the track to get to their seats on the field. Senior class treasurer Lynette Garcia and National Honor Society (NHS) secretary Claudia Taylor welcomed everyone to the event. Senior class secretary and NHS president Antonio Garcia and student council vice president and NHS senior representative Will Moore then led the invocation. Student council business manager Kaeona Marquez and senior class president Cristina Valencia led everyone in the pledges to the American and Texas flags, and then Aniston Lees, student council president and NHS treasurer, sang the National Anthem.

The next item on the agenda was the presentation of scholarships. A total of over $440,000 worth of scholarships were given to different members of the senior class.

After the presentation of scholarship, Emma Lathem gave her Salutatory Address, and then Claire Miller gave the Valedictory Address. Following those speeches, the diplomas were presented to the graduates. DHS teacher Laura Portillo-Amaya announced the name of each graduate, who then went through a receiving line that consisted of the Superintendent, Dr. Joe Alcorta, Principal Scot Wright, Assistant Principal Sandra Richmond, Counselor Christy Dovel, and Dalhart ISD Board of Trustee members Joni Atha, Bob Bailey, DeeDee Bell, Maegan Frische, Jared Gordon, Tammy Schniederjan and Reynaldo Encinias. There was one slight wrinkle during the presentation of diplomas, as the battery in the cordless microphone died before all the graduates had been announced.

Portillo-Amaya then used her “teacher voice” to call out the names of the rest of the graduates as they received their diplomas.

After all the graduates had returned to their chairs, the senior cheerleaders led the class and crowd in the singing of the Alma Mater, and then the class song, “I’ll Always Remember You” by Miley Cyrus was played right after the graduates threw their caps in the air

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