MORENCI — Small schools can accomplish big things, as Morenci High School demonstrated Friday, May 24.

The graduating class of 84 students featured 16 earning associate’s degrees and even more students netting a combined $1.4 million in scholarships.

In his speech, valedictorian Jesse Manuz said, “Although our group has changed throughout the years, we have become a family; and like all families, we’ve had ups and downs. Our experiences brought us together in ways only we can understand. Whatever your path is, don’t lose sight of your larger goals and aspirations, always be aware of what it is you’re working towards, and reflect on how far you have come.

“Celebrate your victories large and small along the way, and when you finally achieve what you’ve been striving for, set another goal. Few things in life compare to the feeling of achieving a goal that you have worked towards for a long time.”

Todd Graham, who coached Division 1 football, including at Arizona State, honored Morenci with a moment of his time and a few inspiring words.

“What I want to tell them tonight . . . in life, what I think is so important is that you don’t let anyone put parameters on you, that you believe yourself and that you find your uniqueness. What I mean by that is to celebrate the things that make you different.”

Graham gave a few more pieces of advice to help graduates advance into adulthood, and once the tassels were turned, fireworks spent and every last bit of Silly String hanging off caps, staff spent one last moment with their now former students before releasing them into the world.

Load comments