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Three  Central graduates pose for a photo wearing their caps and gownsWith the Southwest Motors Events Center awash in Blue, and the coveted Bell sitting at center stage, more than 160 members of the Central Class of 2023 joined the esteemed ranks of Orman Army alumni Saturday morning at the Southwest Motors Events Center.
Principal Destin Mehess repeatedly expressed her pride in the character and makeup of the members of this year’s graduating class, encouraging them to approach the next step with courage and a spirit of connectedness and optimism.
The Class of 2023 is led by top scholar Kaden Parker.
“Those who succeed, fail. I know that sounds backwards, but in our failures, we find life’s greatest lessons,” Kaden said. “When we fail, we learn what not to do, and oftentimes, knowing what not to do is more valuable than knowing what to do. Failing is a result of taking on a challenging task in order to learn and grow as a person.
“Throughout my years at Central, I have been heavily involved in band. If I had stuck to the easy music and only done what I could be perfect at right away, I would not have grown into the instrumentalist I am today. Failure taught me to succeed, and succeeding taught me to fail.
“Today, though, is not about the next struggles: it is about the past struggles. Today, we celebrate four years of dedication and hard work to reach this milestone in our lives. Today, we are graduates of Central. Tomorrow, we are alumni. Tomorrow, choose to do something difficult, choose to succeed even in failure, choose to have a good future. Today, everything changes: tomorrow, it all gets real.”
The Class of 2023 also heard from Senior Class President Molly Charles.
“There is one thing I want you to remember from today,” she said. “Everyone in this room is someone: parents, grandparents, friends, staff members, and graduates. Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone has a purpose. Someone is always and forever going to love and care for you. It doesn’t matter if that someone is your mother or your pet: you are all valued and loved.
“As we go on and are exposed to new environments, I hope you all stay loyal to your core values. And from the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the very, very best.”
President Charles then passed the ceremonial key to incoming Senior Class President Hadli Welsby.
Collectively, the Wildcat seniors were awarded $2.3 million in academic and athletic scholarships, to be used at colleges throughout the state and nation, to include Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Arapahoe Flight School, Montana State, New School University of New York, and Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology.
The Class of 2023 includes JROTC Cadets, concurrent enrollment scholars, and members of Honor Society, Music Honor Society, Italian National Honor Society, Trio/Upward Bound, Gear-Up
Wildcats will be serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
The ceremony included performances by the Central Mariachi, and instrumental and vocal members of the Central music program.
Posthumously, an honorary diploma was awarded to Class of 2023 member Erric Lopez Jr. through his parents, who were greeted on stage by Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso and Central and District leadership.