Cutline: Kingman High School 2023 ceremony was held Monday, May 22 on campus at 4182 Bank St. Graduates look forward to growing as individuals and carrying on the Bulldog pride throughout their next endeavors.
KINGMAN – Hundreds of community members celebrated Kingman High School’s 2023 graduates on Monday, May 22.
Described as the “fabulous” class of 2023, graduates discussed the challenges they overcame in high school and the excitement they look forward to as adults. The students were freshmen when COVID-19 hit, which drastically altered their education and social lives during their formative years. However, through the strength and support of their classmates, teachers and family teachers they crossed the finish line with smiles and diplomas.
Kingman High School Principal Isaiah Ward said whatever paths graduates choose to take, he encouraged them to remember their roots. Despite challenges locally or globally, the kindness that was showcased by the class will allow those with different perspectives to come together and find solutions.
“I ask that as you leave here today, your last day as students and your first day as alumni, you will always remember where you have come from,” Ward said. “These early chapters are important in each and every one of your life stories.”
Ward also said moving forward, work ethic is the greatest skill to have and a choice that must make every single day.
“It is a choice that you can make every day as you take on the world and whatever role you decide. Whether it be continuing your education, entering the workforce, or serving our country, you make the choice to commit and follow through to help make a difference whether it be big or small,” Ward said.
Samantha Heins, valedictorian, said her former teachers inspired her curiosity and nourished it throughout her education. She built lasting relationships in high school despite having to learn in a remote environment that uprooted many lives. Regardless of the doubt that lingered about the future, graduates learned from their mistakes, redefined social interactions and set the groundwork for their future.
“We overcame the end of the world while managing to put school first,” Heins said.
Justin Minor, student body president, said that while challenges are inevitable, family is always there. A tight-knit community and school were impacted by multiple tragedies during their graduating year, but they also healed together. He described the class of 2023 is one big family.
“Family doesn’t have to be biological,” Minor said. “More often than not we have those friends we consider family.”
John Venenga, educator, gave an honorary diploma to the family of Arthur Valdivia, died during his freshman year of high school. “The class of 2023 had a young man who would have been a great addition. We need to honor him today,” Venenga said.
Cassie Bradley, 2023 senior class president, was the guest speaker and told graduates to cherish the friendships and memories they made in high school since they can last a lifetime. She also said to learn from their mistakes and follow their goals no matter what.
“Life may be challenging, but it is beautiful and it goes by really fast,” Bradley said. “Enjoy the ride, and try to find the positive even in the hard times.”