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 Christian Nazario shows off his class ring in his cap and gownIn another chapter in the long and colorful history of Central High School, 150 members of the Orman Army, now alumni, reaped the rewards of 12 years of education in the form of a hard-earned diploma.
In an Events Center awash in a proud sea of blue, the Class of 2022 took that special walk across the stage and into the pages of Central, and District 60, history.
A sea of proud blue in front of her, Principal Destin Mehess reminded the scholars of all that lead to the moment.
“Wildcats, as reflect on how ‘you’ got here, I want you to think about your struggles, your celebrations, your friends, your family, your school, and I want you to know that without all of those factors, you would not be sitting here today.
“Life is ever changing, and knowing how to overcome hardships and look forward, not backwards, is part of growing up and realizing that you have the strength and power to succeed. You have the ability to make things happen.”
The Class of 2022, which includes 36 scholars who graduated with the top tier Summa Cum Laude Distinction, collectively earned more than $5 million in scholarships and will be attending such institutions as Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Louisiana State University, and colleges throughout the state.
A number of Wildcats also will be serving in the military.
As Top Scholar of the Class of 2022, Noah Wood was, along with his parents, honored by Principal Mehess.
In his address, Mr. Wood revisited the greatness that surrounds his alma mater.
“I've attended pretty much every type of school you can think of, from public to private to home to online. And while I only attended Central for two years, I can say with 100 percent certainty that it's been the best schooling experience I've had,” he said. 
“Something I've learned while at Central is we stand in the shadow of giants. Men like Dutch Clark and William Crawford, along with countless others, who went before us and reached incredible heights, providing a model we can all follow. Two students pose with the Superintendent prior to their graduation ceremony
“I've had the privilege to have attended Central High school with all of you, and I believe we are also capable of incredible heights. I see a future where we can look at those giants at eye level, and shake their hands.”
The festive ceremony was capped by the tassel change, led by Student Body President Kai Arriaga and President Mendoza, and a rousing toss of the mortarboards into the Events Center atmosphere that followed the Class Yell.
As Wildcats departed the arena, they did so to rings of the Rivalry Bell.
The musical selections were provided by members of Central’s instrumental and vocal music programs, as well as Mariachi Central.
Seniors Kaitlyn Jesik, Kiersten Romero and Gavin Nickerson offering a harmonious take on the National Anthem.
The ceremony also featured the traditional Passing of the Key from 2022 Senior Class President Nicole Mendoza to incoming Class President Molly Charles.
In her address, President Mendoza offered a life lesson.
“I want to leave you all with this one lesson I've learned over these past four years of high school. Live for yourself. Because every decision you make can and will affect your future. So, go to that job interview, move to a new city, go to your dream school, talk to new people, because you may never be given that opportunity again.
“Don't restrict yourself. Life has endless opportunities and our journey has just begun. And always remember everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let them go. Things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
Central graduates throwing their caps in the air after graduating