HHS Seniors Awards Banquet
BY ALFREDO GUZMAN
On June 1st at 5:30 p.m. at the Holtville High School Gymnasium, the 2017 Senior Awards Banquet was held. The event recognized Seniors of the Holtville High School graduating class of 2017 who are being recognized for academic achievement and scholarship as well as ASB officers. The event was catered by local restaurant “Old Town”, which served enchiladas and tacos for everyone in attendance.
Holtville High School Counselor Ellen Okada and Principal Mario Garcia hosted the event. ASB officers for 2015- 16 and 2016-17, were honored and introduced at the beginning of the presentation of academic recognition and scholarship. Scholarships awarded to Holtville High School Seniors include; Association of CA School Administrators, Vicky Castro Memorial, Mary Catherine Carpenter Memorial, Chicano Correctional Workers Assoc., Holtville Car Club, IV Masonic Lodge, Imperial County Farm Bureau, IVROP Community Foundation, IV Vegetable Growers, Claddagh Club of Imperial Valley, John Kirchenbauer Award, MANA de Imperial Valley, Migrant Education, Diana Muniz Scholarship, Soroptimist International, Stockman’s Club, Sun
Community FCU, Williams Family Foundation, Board of Supervisors, and Holtville Rotary Club. As of the date of the ceremony the list of HHS Class of 2017 Seniors accepted and attending college is as follows; Emily Acosta- UC Riverside, Joanna Aguirre- Grand Canyon University, Emily AllegranzaIVC, Saira Arroyo- San Diego State, S.Austin Brady- Chico State, Marina Burfield- Oregon State University, Richard Chavez Fuerte- SDSU IVUP, Matthew Dagdagan- IVC, Miguel DiazUniversal Technical Institute, Betsy Gomez- IVC, Brooke Goodsell- State University of New York, Jack Grizzle- Cal Poly SLO, Karina GutierrezIVC, EMily Holt- UC Davis, Kellen Larson- IVC, Abel Leon Topete- UC Santa Cruz, Luisandree Loranca- IVC, Jorge Mendoza- UC Los Angeles, Cleo Miki- New York University, Adam Montes- North Central College, Janette Ortega- UC Los Angeles, Priscilla Rendon- IVC, Allyson Rolfe- Boise State, Eli Romo- UC San Diego, AJ SilvaAZ Western, Diego Soto Montoya- IVC, Sergio TafoyaIVC and Lizeth Vaca- IVC. At the conclusion of the night’s announcements the HHS Class of 2017 Salutatorian and Valedictorian were revealed. Salutatorian was awarded to Jorge Mendoza and Valedictorian was awarded to Cleo Miki.
Holtville High School class of 2017 Valedictorian Cleo Miki graciously shared a preview of her Valedictory speech. The Holtville Tribune would like to thank Cleo Miki for providing her speech preview on such short notice;
“Good evening students, faculty, and parents. Tonight we are gathered to celebrate the commencement of the class of 2017 into their adult lives and endeavors. Tonight, we revel in the end of our high school careers. I would like to thank all of you in attendance, as well as all those who have made tonight possible. Many people I’m sure, expect, due to none other than precedent, that I will stand before you and indulge in a communal nostalgia, recanting insignificant stories of value only in their sentimental value. If that is what you seek from me, I suggest you stretch your legs, or take your bathroom break now. For all those still intrigued, hello. You may know me, may have heard of me, or perhaps are only learning of my existence tonight. My name is Cleo Miki, and I am a sixteen year-old high graduating senior. I entered Holtville High a 95 pound, 5 foot 1 child, broken from a traumatic car accident that had flipped my world on its head. I had no concept of who I was, what the world was, or how I fit into that world. Four years later, that has all changed.
High school – often characterized as the best four years of your life. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. For many, high school is the peak of existence: no responsibility, patronizing adults, fun parties. For a great deal of others, high school is a prison: an indentured servitude to the status quo plagued with unrelenting judgement and forced conformity. Regardless of which category you identify with, high school is a place in which to find yourself, your passion, and the beliefs and principles which will guide your every move for the entirety of your life. High school is the place to explore and discover the greatest tool of man, the only thing that has true value- – your mind. In my four years, I had countless hours of introspection and outward observation. In this time, I have changed and fluctuated in my political, spiritual, and moral values, but have discovered the core mechanism through which I and every other person operates: the brain. Each and every person has been given the gift of intelligent thought, and yet most squander it. We all have the potential to harness the fullest capability of our minds; whether it be to create art, to understand the bare mechanics of technology, or to solve intricate scientific dilemmas.
So this begs the question: why don’t we? We remain unfulfilled, unguided, and void of all ambition/intellect because of the constraints we place on ourselves. Society inevitably deems certain groups, characteristics, or personas as “in” and others as “out”. Too many of us are so desperate to adhere to the external validation of being a member of the “in” crowd, that we shear off the parts of us that don’t fit in this mold. Consequently, each graduating class looks the same, talks the same, and believes the same.
Tonight I challenge each and every person in attendance to take a long, critical look in the mirror. Are you who you want to be? Does the outward expression you put forth the truest reflection of who you are on the inside? Do you really believe in what you claim to? Finally, is the person looking back at you the person you created, or the one society has made you to be? We all want more time. I am positive that most people on this stage don’t want this to be the end. But we have to keep moving forward. We each have finite minutes, hours, days, years to live, and live a life unique to the mind that brought it forth. Why settle for uniformity when you could experience true peace within yourself? Why mask who you truly are to be merely another face in a sea of grey? One day, you will look back on these years, be it high school, or simply a period of your life, and question why you didn’t take the time to find the purest expression of your individual self. One day, you will regret the time you wasted as an amorphous addition to the crowd.”