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Hoffman congratulates seniors

May 26, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Wyoming Indian High School's graduation on May 19 was the last one for the departing superintendent.

Departing superintendent Michelle Hoffman did her best to hold back tears during the Wyoming Indian High School commencement ceremony May 19. The graduation was her last at Fremont County School District 14 after announcing her retirement in 2011. She had been superintendent for the district since 2004.

"Thank you for all the memories," Hoffman told the graduates. "It's a happy occasion but it's sad."

She presented scholarships to Stephen Headley, Donald Clifford Jr., Jacinta Goggles, Kanani Washakie and Breanna Shakespeare. The school also repeated last year's surprise by providing each graduate with a laptop computer.

"Everywhere you go, there's going to be the naysayers," principal Phil Garhart said. "Just remember who you are and where you came from -- we believe in you and wish you all the best."

Salutatorian Tianna Redman provided words of encouragement to the graduates.

"This is the day we all dreamed about since we walked in those doors," she said. "By no means is this our final destination. Never give up."

Valedictorian Donald Clifford Jr. reminded the graduates that the hard earned diploma could not be taken away.

The graduates had invited Debra Parker, an Indian Country activist, to be the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

"You chose to finish, that is why you are taking your rightful seats today (and) every experience you have helps you grow," Parker said. "Believe in what you have because if you don't, who will? You deserve to be happy today and for the rest of your lives."

Arlen "Bunny" Shoyo presented an opening and closing prayer as well as a moment of silence for Thurlo Jenkins Sr. who was a member of the Northern Arapaho Business Council and died in April.

Students who received their diplomas included Joey Aragon, Chardale Brown, Clifford, Aleigha C'Bearing, Goggles, Headley, Torrie Little Coyote, Paige Medicine Horse, Shoshanna Miller, Skyler Quiver, Tyler Quiver, Redman, Shakespeare, Alden Spoonhunter, Alvin Spoonhunter, Garland Spoonhunter, Jocelyn Underwood, Ambrose Underwood and Washakie.

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