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A graduate wearing a blue cap and gown stands with his parents on stageIn the school’s 139th commencement ceremony, 193 Wildcats accepted their diplomas, and status as Orman Army alumni, as Central High School bid farewell to the Class of 2024 Friday evening at the Southwest Motors Events Center.
Central’s Class of 2024 is the largest in the District this year, and in recent Central history.
The graduates, and those in attendance, were welcomed by President Destin Mehess.
“We at Central high school truly fit the definition of the word family. The support is unmeasurable. The friendships are irreplaceable and the love is unstoppable,” she said.
In her address, senior class president Hadli Welsby focused on the necessity of gratitude in one’s life.
“We have truly left our mark on our community, and we should be proud of each other for that. As we stand on the edge of a new chapter; let’s take a moment to thank the people who have supported us along the way. To our teachers and staff, thank you for your dedication, patience, and guidance. You have not only imparted knowledge, but also taught us great lessons and to believe in our potential.
“To our families, your unwavering love and encouragement has been our foundation. We wouldn’t be here without you. And to my fellow graduates, I thank you for making this journey unforgettable. All of us have contributed to our collective experience in a unique and meaningful way.”
President Hadli then handed the ceremonial leadership key to Madison Gonzales, president of the Central Class of 2025.
Student body president Josh Sanchez, a multi-sport athlete who will be attending Notre Dame University on the pre-med track, was honored as Central’s top scholar. He reflected on his time as a Wildcat and reiterated the importance of education.
“Going into high school, I was a completely different person with a different purpose. I have changed in so many ways over the past four years and now my essence is unknown. But I’m sure excited to find it. That is the human experience -- change and growth – so embrace it. Look back on these last four years and smile because even if we haven’t figured it all out, we are one step closer, and we did that together too.
“I’m going to leave you with one of my grandpa Ed’s favorite quotes, ‘One of the only things they cannot take from you is your education.’ Just because we graduate today, doesn’t mean our education is over. As we continue learning, we will develop our essence no matter the path we take after today, because education comes from experience. Remember the education you received while at Central High School, where everyone is someone.”
Josh accepted his top scholar accolade along with his parents.
In the class of 2024, 33 Wildcats graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.8 GPA and above), joined by 13 leaving with Magna Cum Laude and 20 with Cum Laude honors. More than 50 Wildcats concurrently earned a college credential.
Having collectively earned scholarships valued at $3.5 million, members Class of 2024 will be attending local colleges and institutions throughout Colorado and the nation. Nearly a dozen Wildcats will serve their country in the Armed Forces.
The ceremony included a moment of remembrance for veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, led by JROTC instructor Major Charles Wright, who tolled the ceremonial bell.
Another Bell, the coveted rivalry gridiron rivalry prize, was at center stage for the commencement. Members of the Class of 2024 who were part of the Central football team own the honor of keeping the Bell throughout their high-school years.
With program music provided by Central’s mariachi group, the Midnight Regiment ensembles and choir, the Class of 2024 exited, fittingly, to “Fight, Fight for Central.”