Graduation marks end of one chapter in life, beginning of new one for PHS graduates

By Helena Rodriguez: FNM correspondent

Graduating on Friday night meant the end of one chapter in life for David Lucero and 138 other newly tasseled Portales High School graduates. But it also marked the beginning of a new chapter.

“The thing I will miss most about high school is being able to see all of my friends, everyone who I have known since elementary school,” Lucero said shortly after walking across the stage to receive his high school diploma at Greyhound Arena.

On the brighter side, though, Lucero added, “What I look forward to now is making new friends and starting a whole new life as an adult.”

Lucero plans to attend Eastern New Mexico University in the fall to begin work on basic classes. He is still undecided on a major.

Also in the graduating PHS class was Kim Shearer, a student who was recently honored for having perfect attendance. As a result of having perfect attendance, Shearer’s name was entered in a drawing with several other school districts, and she won $10,000 toward the purchase of a new car.

Shearer actually had perfect attendance her junior and senior years. After not missing a day of school for two complete academic years, Shearer said she will kick back, but just for a little bit.

“I will probably go to work, maybe at Wal-Mart. I plan to stay in Portales for now,” she said.

Shearer said the thing she will miss most about high school is all of her teachers.

Aaron Quinby, another graduate, said he will also go to work, but he plans to begin college in the fall as well.

Quinby said he will spend the summer working at Southwest Canners and like Lucero, he will attend ENMU. He plans to major in aviation and hopes to become an airplane pilot someday.

“It feels kind of surreal. I just spent 12 years of my life in school, and now it is just ending like that,” Quinby said shortly before receiving his diploma.

Quinby said he originally wanted to go to an aviation school in Tulsa, Okla. However, because of the economy, he said he felt it was wise, for now, to stay close to home and go to Eastern because it is more affordable in terms of tuition.

According to PHS counselor Thomas Tafoya, at least 70 percent of the PHS Class of 2009 will pursue some form of post secondary education.