It’s been a crazy last four years for the students at Mineral County High School, but the Class of 2022 have preserved and just celebrated their graduation on Friday, June 3. At 7 p.m. in the high school gym, 21 out of its 24 graduates in attendance walked across stage to receive their diplomas and start the next chapter of their lives.

“This was the first class of students that I had, when they were in junior high. They lived through covid shutdowns, online learning, and dealt with inconsistency in teachers. A number of the students excelled despite all those setbacks, and showed a lot of maturity,” says MCHS Principal Jeff Wales. He says that a few of the students that graduated were the last remnants of last season’s state championship basketball teams, and seven of the graduating students received scholarships.

“I’m always sad to see all of them go. At graduation I talked about how I remember them spending a lot of time in my office as junior high school kids. And then I saw them come back as seniors and noticed how much they’ve changed and grew.

“Every class is unique but the thing I’ll remember most about the Class of 2022 are the ones that preserved and made it all the way to the end. I was concerned about a few of them, but they stuck with it,” Wales adds.

He was also impressed with the five boys who received second in the state in track & field, coming from a school that doesn’t even have an all-weather running track.

“They were so into it, competed so hard, and won seven gold medals,” says Principal Wales.

This was also the first graduation that new MCSD superintendent Andre’ Ponder was a part of.

“Having a face-to-face graduation post-pandemic was very rewarding for me. And it was a pleasure and an honor to have Sophia Castillo-Trujillo as valedictorian this year,” Ponder says.