Parker High School held its graduation ceremony for the Class of 2019 the evening of May 23 at Joe Bush Stadium. The Class of 2019 assembled for the last time as a class and received their diplomas. Their families and friends filled the stands and cheered for them.
The event featured several speakers, including PHS Principal Paul Olson. Olson, who will be taking over as the Parker Unified School District’s Assistant Superintendent July 1, was addressing his final class as Principal. He told the graduates how proud he was of them. He also commended those who took college-level classes through the dual enrollment program at Arizona Western College.
Olson said they had 47 students in the Class of 2019 who had taken at least one college-level course, as opposed to 31 for the Class of 2018. He said 19 students had 12 or more college credit hours, as compared with two last year.
Senior Class President Madelynn Clark addressed her fellow graduates. She remarked on how quickly the four years since they were freshmen had passed. She said she was proud of how they had supported each other, and told the graduates they could face any situation in life.
“We’re a big dysfunctional family at Parker High,” she said to laughter from the audience. “I can’t think of any other group of people I’d want to be with!”
The Salutatorian was Ana Briones. She said there were still many things the graduates would need to learn about life.
“I may be smart in the classroom, but we need to be smart at life,” she said.
She also expressed confidence in her fellow graduates.
“We’re Broncs,” she said. “We can face our problems head on.”
April Alambam was the Valedictorian. She told her fellow graduates it was great to have dreams, but dreams aren’t enough by themselves. It takes a lot of work to make dreams come true.
“Don’t just dream, do!” she told the graduates.
Alambam also expressed affection for her classmates.
“PHS, I love you all!” she said. “Congratulations, Class of 2019.”
Fabyian Gonzalez led a moment of silence in memory of Damien Fisher, a member of the Class of 2019 who died some years ago. Fisher’s memory was honored with a posthumous honorary diploma.
Following the conferring of the diplomas, Angelo Carballo offered final thoughts and reflections. He told the graduates they should always strive for excellence. No matter what they did, they should try to be the best they could possibly be.
The ceremony ended with the playing of the Parker High Alma Mater and the Parker Broncs’ fight song. This was followed by a fireworks display from the Colorado River Indian Tribes Fire Department.
Music was provided by the Parker High band and the Parker High choir.