VARDAMAN – The Vardaman High School Class of 2021 took to Carter Field to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance on Friday night, to take the next step in their lives.
Led on to the field by Valedictorian Emily Gaskin, graduates marched, one by one, to their seats, awaiting that sought after moment when they are handed their diploma, and the journey is complete.
Along the way, several students were recognized for their achievements by principal, Dr. Tim Cook.
The awards recognized, and their recipients included:
Valedictorian: Emily Gaskin
Salutatorian: Alaina Edington
Star Student: Alaina Edington
Special Honors: Emily Gaskin, Alaina Edington. Emily Edmundson, Justin Spencer and Ximena Medina
Honors: Cristal Solis, Britton Bailey, Maria Cristina Gonzalez, Sabrina Alrfaro, Kobe Poynor, Ariuana Nash, Gavin Caples, Adrienne Myers and Kevin Johnson
FFA: Sabrina Alfaro, Larry Bullard, Gavin Caples, Cynthia Cruz, Emily Edmundson, Emily Gaskin, Landon Logan, Adrienne Myers, Ariuana Nash, Teeyana Mims, Cristal Solis, Andrew Thomas and BJ Wilson
FCCLA: Sabrina Afaro, Cynthia Cruz, Alaina Edington, Emily Edmundson, Emily Gaskin, Claire Gibson, Maria Cristina Gonzalez, Cristina Guerrero, Landon Logan, Esmeralda Murillo, Ariuana Nash and Cristal Solis
Beta: Sabrina Alfaro, Britton Bailey, Gavin Caples, Aliana Edington, Emily Edmundson, Emily Gaskin, Maria Cristina Gonzalez, Baylen Hill, Kevin Johnson, Ximena Medina, Adrienne Myers, Ariuana Nash, Kobe Poynor, Cristal Solis, Justin Spencer and Gabrielle Torres
Vocational Completers: Sabrina Alfaro, Esmeralda Murillo, Andrew Thomas, Jose Pachacano, Leo Lopez, Alaina Edington, Gabriela Torres, Cynthia Cruz, Ariuana Nash, Cristal Solis, Emily Edmundson, Claire Gibson, Cristina Gonzalez and John Laster
Hall of Fame: Britton Bailey, Alaina Edington, Emily Edmundson, Emily Gaskin, Kevin Johnson, Ariuana Nash and Cristal Solis
Fine Art Completer: Sabrina Alfaro, Britton Bailey, Gavin Caples, Cynthia Cruz, Arasely Gonzalez, David Gonzalez, Bridget Hernandez, Ximena Medina, Claire Gibson, Cristal Solis and Cristina Gonzalez
AEST Completer: Larry Bullard, Emily Edmundson, Arasely Gonzalez, David Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez, Jose Pachacano, Sabrina Alfaro, Gavin Caples, Ximena Medina, Esmeralda Murillo and Justin Spencer
Class Salutatorian Alaina Edington addressed the crowd and her fellow graduates speaking about times past, and looking to the future.
She spoke about the unique situations in which the class found themselves up against this school year.
“This year has been unusual to say the least,” she said. “We have had to wear masks everyday, eat lunch in our classrooms and socially distance ourselves. We have missed weeks of school due to snow, tornado damage and being quarantined. Against all these obstacles, we are all still standing here before you today receiving our diplomas.”
She also spoke about the relationships they had built, and the importance of what school means to each of them.
“A school is not a building or a sports team, a school is the people who go there everyday and grow and learn together. You all made my time here unforgettable and so special.”
She wished her classmates luck on their respective paths, and turned the mic over to Gaskin, the Valedictorian.
“We have had our ups and downs this year, but we all survived COVID and ended up having a pretty good year,” she said. “...As we come to the end of this journey, know that this is not the end of the book. This is you just simply turning the page to a new chapter of your life. This is our new beginning, and every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.”
As the ceremony closed, Dr. Cook presented the graduates with their diplomas, and they moved their tassels.
Once they tossed the caps, it was official, they were high school graduates.
The graduates included:
Sabrina Alyssa Alfaro
Britton Edward Bailey
Alan Emanuel Bejarano
Larry Wayne Bullard
Gavin Wyatt Caples
Cynthia Guadalupe Cruz
Ruby Alaina Edington
Emily Gail Edmundson
William Grant Fugett
Emily Nicole Gaskin
Jennifer Claire Gibson
Angly Juliet Gonzalez
Cristian Manual Ramos Gonzalez
Dana Kristal Gonzalez
Juan Manuel Rios Gonzalez
Maria Cristina Gonzalez
Emily Alexis Haire
Litzy Bridgette Hernandez
James Baylen Hill
Kevin Arturo Johnson Rodriguez
Kaitlin Grace Lansdell
John Edward Laster
Dewey Carl Lester
Landon Shed Logan
Chole Renee McGreger
Teeyana Rysha Mims
Adrienne Claire Myers
Ariuana Versha Nash
Jose Juan Pachacano
Trina Renae Porter
Kobe Brice Poynor
Justin Parker Spencer
Estevan Jesus Soto
Wesley Andrew Thomas
Jacob Nathan Turner and
Billy Jack Wilson