Sheri Samson
Dressed in their mini graduation robes, with caps snuggly on top of their heads, the Schurz Kindergarten class walked in a processional to the front of the gymnasium, welcomed by their teacher, Stacie King. Several songs were presented to an audience full of parents, family members, school staff, classroom students and visitors. With members from the audience participating in the traditional song of Tooty-Ta, the children performed choreography to the lyrics which brought applause and laughter from the crowd.

As the Rockets Eighth grade promotion began, Principal Jeff Wales explained the reason that two-sets of bleachers were decorated for the occasion. This future class of high school students were first seated on the Rocket bleachers in a sea of blue gowns, with the banner of blue and white decorating one side of the room.

“As you can see, we have a Serpent on the other side of the room and this stands for the transition these students will be taking. As they physically move from once being a Rocket into the high school setting of becoming a Serpent, they will also be given the opportunity to sign a pledge, committing to graduate in 2022,” Wales explained.

As part of this first-year tradition, diplomas were handed to each student and a table was set just before the Serpent bleachers. Written certificates were waiting for each student’s signature, which will soon be on display in the high school hallways. In hopes of setting forth a written goal toward the positive pathway of four-years in high school, the contract portion of the ceremony was a new option of creating ambitious dreams.

Keynote speaker, Brooke Sasser, local director of The Boys & Girls Club and a 2017 graduate of Mineral County High School, admitted to them, “Thriving in school and supporting each other while appreciating all of those around you will be important, because many work hard on your behalf. Push yourself, as there are no limits and get involved in the spirit of high school – at the pep rallies, games and with the spirit of your mascot.”

Two student speakers shared from their hearts. Sofia Castillo-Trujillo was a top female student, giving thanks to the Dream Team for making positive changes within the school for the junior high school students. While celebrating all that was accomplished throughout the first year in existence, she smiled saying “Our adventure has just begun.”

Mateo Jimenez, top male student, mentioned finding new friends upon moving to Hawthorne. He stated, “I found a foundation to build upon by living here.”

Other speakers included McKenna Cardenas, President of the Mineral County High School Students and Devon Settergren-Davis, Vice President of the Senior Class of 2019.