By Kevin Wilson: PNT Managing Editor
More than 50 years ago, T.S. Eliot wrote, “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start.”
On Friday night, Eliot’s prose had prominence. The Portales High School class of 2005 chose Eliot’s words as its motto, and the end of high school started new beginnings for the 138 listed graduates in the annual ceremony at Greyhound Arena.
“Thirteeen years of our lives culminated to tonight,” valedictorian Kari Jones said. “This is the end of one road and the beginning of another. If we can make it through the drama and hormones of high school, we can make it through anything.”
For Jody Floyd, anything includes an education that continues in Portales. Floyd, whose name was marked by indications of membership in National Honor Society, National Art Society and International Thespian Society Troupe 966, plans to make her mark as a biology teacher.
Floyd plans to attend Eastern New Mexico University for two years and transfer to the University of New Mexico.
The path leads to Socorro for salutatorian Aaron Stoutjesdyk, who is heading for New Mexico Tech. He spoke of how he and his classmates all had their differences, but also had dreams.
“Perhaps that dream was formed early in childhood or it was formed recently,” Stoutjesdyk said. “Tonight, a special event will occur that will bring us one step closer.”
Starting with Nathan Acker and ending with Dustin Williamson, each student received their diploma and a beginning to their new future — one which principal Melvin Nusser referred to as “bright,” and he brought his point home by donning a pair of sunglasses.
Previously, Jones brought home two points — how happy she was to be speaking as the valedictorian, and how much the rest of her classmates were responsible for helping her get there.
“To accomplish great things, you must have great competition. I want to (thank this) class for pushing me. I am only sorry that we can’t all share this honor, because all of you deserve it as much as I do.”
It’s a support group that Floyd said she also had throughout.
“There are always people you can talk to, and growing up here, you know everybody,” Floyd said. “It’s easy to find someone to lean on.”