The PUHS class of 2019 waits to receive their diplomas at the graduation ceremony held May 24 at the school. Photo by Laura Wenzel

The gymnasium at Patagonia Union High School (PUHS) was crowded and loud on the night of Saturday, May 24, as all attention was on the 14 seniors sitting on the stage for the 2019 graduation ceremony. The families of the graduates, the Governing Board and the faculty and staff of PUHS sat in the front rows while Michael Young, Behavior Interventionist at Patagonia Public Schools, coordinated the event.

PUHS Valedictorian John Hubbell speaks of lessons learned from work and school. Photo by Liz Collier

After a speech from Rachell Hocheim, Superintendent and Principal of Patagonia Public Schools, Ruben Reyes of Congressman Raul Grijalva’s office presented Gianna Martin and
John Hubbell with special recognition awards for their exemplary academic achievements, followed by presentations by the class co-salutatorians, Cosette Whitcoe and Jesus “Ralphie” Quiroz. Class valedictorian John Hubbell then spoke about his lessons learned from work and school. “Don’t take it for granted,” he reminded his classmates.

The class of 2019 was awarded over $230,000 in scholarships, not including individual FAFSA grants given to students based on financial need.

Co-Salutatorian Cosette Whitcoe addresses the audience at the graduation. Photo by Liz Collier

All 14 graduates have plans to attend a community college, a technical school or a university with majors including nursing, fire science, animal husbandry, hydrology, political science, agriculture and sustainability and computer engineering.