By Teresa L. Benns
CENTER — Four students received high school diplomas Saturday from Center’s Academic Recovery Center (ARC) and Virtual Academy, which allows students to graduate at their own pace from either an individualized instruction program or by pursuing online studies.
Adamaris Aguilar, Logan Nye and Miriah Villagomez accepted diplomas from the Center Board of Education. Graduate Josh Kelly left Center early to begin a two-year mission with his church in Indonesia and could not attend the ceremony.
The class motto was “Whatever you are, be a good one.” — Abraham Lincoln. Class colors were blue and white and the class flower was a blue-tipped white rose.
ARC instructor Joy Werner gave the keynote address. Werner began with a quote from Emminem: “Truth is, we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride and nothing is guaranteed.”
Werner then told students her experience with the class this year has been just that — a crazy ride — and she congratulated them on arriving at graduation all in one piece.
“This has been a crazy ride this class has sent me on,” she confirmed. “Two girls wanted to graduate this year, so we had to adopt plan a, b, c and d. There were a few detours along the way, there were a lot of late nights and texting but they figured out a way — who needed help — and got it done.”
Werner congratulated Nye for the amount of growth she has seen in him over the past year and commended him for always helping and for his kindness. “He has a big heart,” she told parents and family attending the ceremony. “All of them do.”
Werner reminded her students they would have false starts and all would finish last sometimes. “We have to look at ourselves in the morning and know we did our best,” she said.
She advised them they would have to learn to adapt, adding that if they fall the important thing is they get up the next morning, put smiles on their faces and try again. One of the most important things, she explained, is to remember how the decisions they make will affect other people.
“They have taught me some interesting things,” she concluded. “We are all in this together.”
Following the ceremony, family friends and parents enjoyed a luncheon and graduates posed for their final class picture.
The class offered a special thank you to Superintendent Chris Vance, paraprofessional Vince Ortega, Haskin Elementary Principal Sarah Vance, Haskin Elementary secretary Lupita Ortega, and administration assistants Jessica Ornelas and J.J. Beiriger.