Arriana and Reyna Ochoa-Tovar share a smile as they parade through Patagonia with their classmates on May 22 before receiving their diplomas at an outdoor ceremony at Patagonia Union High School. Photo by Robert Gay
Tyre Nevins rides in the back of a ranch truck, complete with congratulatory messages written in the coating of red dirt familiar to any who drive our back roads, at the 8th grade graduation ceremony at the Elgin School on May 20. Photo by Marion Vendituoli
Photo by Robert Gay

Grads Honored in Patagonia

Anna Coleman, teacher and the director of Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center (PYEC), had the idea to print PUHS 2020 graduates’ pictures on banners and display them around Patagonia. She and PUHS English teacher Journee Hayes enlisted the help of Angelica Lucero, PUHS Business Manager, who designed the banners. The Parent Teacher Booster Club (PTBC) funded the printing of the banners which were put on display all around Patagonia as a surprise gift to the graduating class of 2020. Coleman also included college graduates in this acknowledgment. Although many parents paid for their child’s poster, others were covered by generous donations. 

Though these banners do not make up for the loss of celebrating the milestone of graduation in the traditional way it shows, as Coleman said, that “We all love these kids. Journee and I have had many tearful conversations about these kids. Even though we know high school doesn’t define who we are as adults, it is a memorable time in our lives.” 

PUHS graduation. Photo by Robert Gay