Goddard High School graduates ready for commencement ceremonies at the Wool Bowl, Friday evening. Mark Wilson Photo
Goddard High School students moved on to new and exciting possibilities Friday at the Wool Bowl, where the Class of 2012 graduated during the school’s 47th annual convocation. The school presented diplomas to 180 graduates, a New Mexico Centennial class that included 21 high honor graduates and 39 honor graduates.
Cheyenne Niece, the school’s senior class president, welcomed graduates to what she termed a bittersweet moment, one where everything they had known in the past four years was about to change.
“When you think about everything that we have conquered, I have no doubt in my mind that we are ready,” Niece said. “We conquered countless nights of no sleep because we waited until that last minute to do that major assignment. …
“We have conquered Goddard, and ultimately, we conquered Roswell. While it is true that we have conquered a lot, it is the memories we have made while achieving these goals that will always stick with us. … We have all grown and changed into wonderful individuals, but when you put us all together, we are an unbeatable and unbreakable group. …
“We are about to move on to something new, exciting and different. I hope that you will always remember not to worry about the small stuff, it always works out in the end. Live in the moment, because it’s the only one you are guaranteed.”
Principal Andrew Sweet announced that the ceremony would be the last Goddard graduation presided over by Superintendent Mike Gottlieb, and in Goddard tradition, Gottlieb then honored the school’s valedictorian and salutatorian with a presentation of a letterman’s plaque, and read from Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go.
Julienne Braggs, valedictorian, spoke of the endless possibilities that await each graduate.
“Welcome to the end, or as I like to think of it, the start of a bright new beginning,” Braggs said. “Graduating class, we’ve been in school for 13 years now, some a little bit longer. … Now it’s time to move on to the bright possibilities of the future.”
Salutatorian Tiffany Young provided graduates with a summary of historic events that took place during the class’ four years in high school, which included the inauguration of the country’s first African-American president; Michael Phelps becoming the first Olympian to win eight gold medals; the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton; the iPad and iPhone 4G; the blockbuster movies Up and Avatar; the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops; and Justin Bieber.
Young said that while many things have changed from when the Class of 2012 started school a little more than 12 years ago, much has remained the same.
“A little over 12 years ago we were getting ready for our first day of school,” Young said. “Some of us were excited, and ready to take on the playground, while others of us cried — almost as much as our Moms did. …
“Look into the bleachers and I’ll bet you our mothers are still armed with their cameras. The only difference is this time we are wearing our last day of school outfits, and we did not bring our plastic lunch boxes. And just as they wished us well on our first day of school, they’ll wish us well for our first day of reality. Whether that be the first day of college, the armed forces or a job. …
“We entered Goddard High School scared, awkward and nervous about getting lost in its maze and five staircases. And we leave today proud, confident, smarter and better-looking.
“Although this day is about us, this day is about others, too. This day is about every single person that helped get us here today. Our principals, the janitors, the lunch servers, our friends, our family, but most of all, our teachers and our parents. As we leave high school, keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to anything worth attaining, and that wherever you go, go with all your heart.”