It was an emotional but joyous morning Saturday in Tingley Coliseum as Volcano Vista High School honored hundreds of graduating seniors.
The commencement program kicked off with welcoming remarks from Activities Director George Woods as scores of parents, family and friends looked on in support of their senior students.
As the traditional playing of “Pomp and Circumstance” boomed through the arena, supporters and students beamed with pride. Following the presentation of colors and the national anthem, Student Body Vice President Joe Novice and Sophia Martinez introduced a large group platform of guests that included Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Scott Elder.
Volcano Vista Salutatorian Onamma Edeh gave a rousing commencement address, which touched on the difficulties students faced during the pandemic.
A choir performance by the 2022 Hawkettes of “Sing Gently” led into an emotional speech from Ventana Ranch Elementary School principal Vernadette Chavez, who has known many of these graduates since they were 7 years old.
Then it was time for the big moments. Seniors lined up waiting to hear their name called, walk the line and receive their diplomas from Volcano Vista principal Melissa Sedillo.
The Presentation of graduates, which included a dog dressed in full cap and gown, saw each student receive cheers and congratulatory hugs and handshakes as their high school careers came to an end.
Student Body President Angela Korte, who was part of a state-championship winning 3,200-meter relay team about an hour earlier and won another state crown after graduation, took the stage to provide the closing remarks and say goodbye and congratulations to her fellow graduates.
Woods once again took the stage to lead the in the tassel moving and tossing of the cap as the Class of 2022 celebrated their combined accomplishments.