Small schools prepare for graduation

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

This weekend promises flying caps, smiling graduates and proud parents as Roosevelt County small schools prepare for graduation.

Floyd and Elida seniors graduate Saturday, and Dora commencement is Sunday.

“It will be exciting just to have finished,” said Floyd valedictorian Jordan Terry. “I’m a little nervous about college, but I’m glad to have finished high school.”

Terry plans to attend Eastern New Mexico University in the fall and major in Spanish. She wants to be a translator.

Floyd High School Principal Chris Duncan said 21 seniors are graduating from Floyd this year.

“Many of them are college bound and received a large amount of scholarships to universities,” Duncan said. “We’re proud of that.”

This year, Floyd seniors were awarded a total of almost $304,000 in scholarships, he said.

Terry said the class is larger than normal and members are close.

Hannah Benoit is the salutatorian, and school counselor Rossi Terry is speaking at the graduation.

For Elida, Principal Jim Daugherty said the school is graduating 10 students, a similar number to last year.

“They’re just an outstanding graduating class,” he said, adding that half of them were on the honor roll.

The valedictorian is Ryan Best, and Levi Massey is salutatorian.

Local rancher, auctioneer and team roping announcer Arkie Kiehne is set to speak at Elida’s commencement.

Dora Superintendent Steve Barron said his school had 14 graduates, an average amount.

“We’re just very proud of them for their accomplishments and wish them the best of luck,” Barron said.

Donald “Doc” Elder, ENMU professor of history and local radio announcer, is scheduled to speak at commencement. Santana Chavez is the valedictorian, while Megan Bumguardner and Kendra Merrick are Dora’s co-salutatorians.

Chavez said she was glad to be valedictorian.

“I’m going to miss my friends, of course, but I’m looking forward to going to college,” she said.

Chavez expects to attend ENMU and study communicative disorders.

The Dora valedictorian said her class had a lot of fun, made a lot of memories and played a lot of pranks on teachers. Graduation is a big milestone and an honor for everyone, even if those who aren’t valedictorian or salutatorian, she said.

Best was not available for comment.