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East Eagles Soar Into Life's Next Chapter

Principal Clementi and Board Members pose in front of the Lamp of KnowledgeHaving lit the recently bestowed Lamp of Knowledge, Isobel McGivney and Ariel Caprioglio, together with 150 members of the Class of 2021, entered the hallowed ranks of East Eagle alumni after accepting diplomas and turning tassels Saturday at the Southwest Motors Events Center.

The commencement was the 62nd for East, an International Baccalaureate World School under the leadership of alumnus Principal Andy Clementi.

Valedictorian Isobel, a National Merit and Hurliman Scholar, and Salutatorian Ariel, are two of the Class of 2021’s 5 International Baccalaureate Diploma graduates. Isobel will be attending Colorado School of Mines to study Applied Mathematics and Ariel is headed to Colorado State University to pursue a degree in Math Education.

“We are proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School,” Principal Clementi announced. “These fine students from the Class of 2021 truly exemplify the attributes of the IB Learner Profile. They are inquirers and have become knowledgeable. They are thinkers and communicators. They are principled, open minded and very caring.

“They are risk takers, while being balanced, and reflective. They have made their mark on East High School’s tradition of excellence and the Eagle Empire could not be more proud to see them represent our school, and our city, wherever they may go.”

First to address the gallery was Student Body President Shayleese Crowder.

“You know when your parents tell you to enjoy every moment of high school because the time flies by? Well, you never believe them at first, because you think, ‘It’s 4 years, and 4 years don’t just fly by: 4 years is a long time, actually.’ So, as normal teenagers do, we brush off their comments and go about our days thinking they are crazy.

“But oh, how right they were. And if you are anything like me, you hate when your parents are right. But the 4 years I spent at East High School were some of the best years of my life. I made countless memories and life-long friends.”

In her Salutatorian address, Ariel – who earned the Green and Gold Scholarship to CSU – opened with the movie quote “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all,” which she said exemplifies the Class of 2021.

“These last 4 years have been, let’s say, interesting,” Ariel said. “We’ve been through many challenges, but that makes us stronger and more flexible to change. I know it has been hard: but we made it.”

The shared experiences, Ariel said, have shaped the Eagles into world-ready adults: “strong, resilient and adaptive.”

“The people who have helped us along the way, like teachers, coaches, friends and loved ones, have each left their mark to prepare us for anything the world can throw at us. We may not all come back, like Mr. Clementi, but we’ve left our mark as a class.”

Valedictorian Isobel also reflected on the experience of the past 4 years. Valedictorian Isobel McGivney speaks at a podium

“So this is it: graduation. We have given 4 years of our life to this school, and now we are finally reaping the rewards,” Isobel said. “We are smart and hard working. It was difficult for all of us to get to this point, but we did it. We are strong and resilient, and prepared to face any challenges. We encountered obstacles every year of high school. But we made it through, and now we know that we can overcome anything that life throws at us. 

“I want to thank all of my teachers for helping me become the best student I could be. I want to thank my coaches for encouraging and believing in me, even through I was never the best athlete. I want to thank my family for supporting me through every challenge, and I want to thank all of my friends for always sticking by my side.” 

Both Isobel and Ariel were presented with a medallion by their proud parents, who were seated on the stage among the dignitaries.

The Class of 2021 was presented for acceptance to Thomas Farrell, a D60 Board of Education member. As they crossed the stage, the Eagles were acknowledged by District and East leadership, including Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso and School Board members.

The tassel change, and class yell, was led by Senior Class President Jalynn Sharp, with the graduates exiting the arena to sustained clapping: a longtime East tradition.

Senior Class President Jalynn SharpIn her address, Jalynn touched on the hardships resulting from the pandemic.

“When I sat down to write a speech to present to our class, it was a little hard, considering only half of us would get to see one another every day,” Jalynn said. “This time in our lives has brought loneliness to some, anger to others, and a huge case of ‘Senioritis.’

“But look at all of us sitting here today, in front of an audience, proud to celebrate this accomplishment with us. The definition of ‘perseverance’ is doing something despite difficulty, or delay, in achieving success. Learning to persevere through the challenge of this year has become as familiar as remembering the words to our old favorite songs.”

As a group, the Class of 2021 earned $2 million in scholarships, with graduates planning to attend Pueblo Community College, Colorado State University Pueblo, Baylor University, the University of Colorado, the University of Southern California and other institutions.

Recognized were those graduates who earned scholarships, have committed to the military, and participated in athletics and activities.

The colors were presented by the JROTC cadets with Col. Reginald Cox leading the assembled in a moment of recognition for the fallen.

Musical selections were presented by the East High Band and Orchestra, Les Jongleurs and Tone Troopers. 

GOLD CORD GRADUATES

Isobel McGivney, Ariel Caprioglio, Kaleigh Duran, Malaya Pendon, Laura Whited, Layne Martinez, Brendon Bernal, Jalynn Sharp, Anastasia Valdez, Molly Austin, Demi Lane, John Lanoue, Antonio Gonzalez Esquivel, Melany Adame, Kyle Miller, Amanda Beck, Nathanael Cason, Nina Trujillo, Brittney Byrd, Andrew Hendrich, Brenden Harding;

Shaniah Armijo, Kaitlyn Butler, Blunay Si, Hadley Perry, Shayleese Crowder, Ivon Alvarez, D’Andre Tafoya, Darion Regalado, Christian Kooy, Jerika Rael, Andruw Larimore, Jalen Aragon, Jaxson Herring, Thomas Waggener, Jacquelyn Montgomery, Alyssa Franklin, Selina Pacheco, Layla Cordova, Bennett Baskerville IV, Nicholas Haynes, Illyana Vigil

SILVER CORD GRADUATES

Gisel Soria, Buddy Almintakh, Richard Sandoval, Alexis Benz, Lariah Escajeda, Esperanza Espinoza

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA 

Ariel Caprioglio, Kaleigh Duran, Christian Kooy, Layne Martinez, Isobel McGivney

East seniors celebrate earning the Lamp of Knowledge