By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer
Relying mostly on Will Ferrell movie analogies, Donald “Doc” Elder advised 18 Floyd High School graduates on Saturday to make good choices, choose their significant others in life carefully and give back to their communities.
Dressed in white gowns and adorned with blue medals, a dozen-and-a-half Floyd Broncos were conferred with degrees during a commencement ceremony in the school gym. According to Lucia Benoit, an English teacher at FHS, all 18 graduates — who have been awarded a combined total of $300,562 in scholarships — have been admitted to college and universities in New Mexico and Oklahoma. One student hopes to go into the United States Air Force but applied for college admission “just in case.”
After also making references to Indiana Jones and what can happen if students make bad choices, Elder, a local radio personality and professor of history at Eastern New Mexico University, drawing again on Will Ferrell and his “Old School” movie, closed by saying to the graduating Floyd Broncos, “You’re my boys and girls blue!”
During her brief valedictorian speech, Brook Reed used a story of a starfish on a beach to emphasize to her fellow classmates that, “The smallest amount of effort and caring can make the biggest difference … do not let someone else hold you back.”
She also encouraged her classmates in saying, “Go your own way! Be your own person! Don’t just go with the flow!”
Shortly before commencement, Addie Breshears, the mother of graduate Cale Breshears, one of only four male graduates, said, “I’m happy for my son. He has a bright future ahead of him. Going to a small school has been a good thing. He really got a lot of attention from his teachers.”
Breshears said he plans to attend ENMU in Portales, although he is still undecided on his major. He began attending school in Floyd during his freshman year.
The Class of 2008 wasted no time taking up Elder’s advice of giving back to their community. Even after taking a recent senior trip to Oklahoma City, the class had funds left over. During commencement, they formally donated $1,640 to the Tommy Goff Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Goff was a Floyd farmer, rancher and Floyd school bus driver who died in 2007.
After the conferring of degrees, a slideshow was presented, showing clips of each student, from their infant and toddler days to the present.
“People are going to ask you who you are and where you’re from,” Elder said. “You tell them you are from Floyd. You are where you came from!”