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Diplomas and Declarations: Campo Verde Celebrates Seniors’ Plans for Post-Graduation

Diplomas and Declarations: Campo Verde Celebrates Seniors’ Plans for Post-Graduation
Tristan Chavez

On Wednesday, April 24th, Campo Verde High School hosted a celebration honoring its graduating class of 2024. The "Senior Celebration and Declaration" event aimed to shine a light on every single senior and their individual plans for the future. Every graduating senior, alongside the faculty and staff that have helped them through their academic journey, all came together to acknowledge the incredible accomplishments of the graduating class and their plans for post-graduation.

Senior Declarations

The celebration kicked off with a keynote speech from Principal Tyler Dumas, where he reflected on his students’ achievements and expressed his immense pride in each of them. The assembly then transitioned into a presentation of scholarships, recognizing students for their academic excellence, dedication, and perseverance. Next, each senior was welcomed to the stage to state their name and declare and celebrate their plans for the future with their graduating class - regardless of whether it was continuing their education, entering the workforce, serving a mission, enlisting in the military, or taking a gap year. The ceremony concluded by recognizing the 10 students with the highest, weighted grade point average (GPA) and presenting some students with the school’s highest academic awards. Following the ceremony, the seniors were released to the courtyard for the annual Senior Declaration Day event put on by the school’s Link Crew.

"It's truly inspiring to witness what our students accomplish during their time here at Campo Verde," said Wil Schommer, a teacher at the school. "Seeing their journeys unfold and how their high school experiences prepare them for the real world is incredibly rewarding. It's moments like these that remind us educators of why we do what we do."

During the ceremony, a diverse range of scholarships were awarded which recognized the graduating class' well-rounded accomplishments. Students like Carly DeRouen and Taneyah Young were honored for their academic excellence and commitment to Arizona's future workforce with scholarships from the Neely Foundation and Wood Foundation, respectively. Hailey Wesloski's dedication to academics, community service, and extracurricular activities earned her the Gilbert "Friends of the Library" Scholarship. Sierra Dain's hard work balancing school and a demanding work schedule was acknowledged with the Gilbert Education Foundation (GEF) Working Student Scholarship. Beau Hanson's perseverance in overcoming challenges with Type 1 Diabetes, along with his academic and extracurricular involvement, earned him the Jayson Murset Memorial Scholarship. The Campo Verde Future Educator Scholarship went to Kelly Strieter, a testament to her academic achievements and commitment to the teaching profession. Finally, the Campo Verde Football Coyote Club Scholarships, recognizing both academic excellence and athletic commitment, were presented to Athan Ferber, Andrew Mask (Top GPA in Varsity Football), and Oscar Liogon Arenas (Top GPA in Sports Medicine).

Three Campo Verde Students Receiving Academic Awards

After scholarships were presented, academic achievement awards were announced. Campo Verde High presented two awards, only available to students with the top 10 highest weighted GPA. The Academic Excellence Award, which involves a lengthy process including interviews, an evaluation of oratorical skills and a written expression, resulted in a tie between two students - Haylee Headrick and Joy Ogbonnaya. The Coyote Excellence Award, a highly sought-after award that involves applications, interviews, and speeches in front of a panel of evaluators, was also earned by Joy Ogbonnaya as well as Samantha Carriere.

"These awards mean a lot to me," said Joy Ogbonnaya. "I worked really hard for four years, so it's nice to have something tangible to show for it." When asked about a message she would leave behind for high school students Ogbonnaya added, "I wouldn't be where I am without the role models I grew up with. Surround yourself with good people and know that it's okay to fail."

Samantha Carriere, who also expressed her gratitude for the event and awards, added to the conversation by saying, “Don’t be afraid to try new things. Everyone, especially the staff, at Campo Verde is extremely supportive.”

Of the 10 students invited to apply for the Academic Excellence and Coyote Excellence Awards, 2 will be named Valedictorian and Salutatorian at the end of the school year. Both students will deliver speeches at Campo Verde’s graduation ceremony on May 23, 2024. The graduation ceremony will be live-streamed and can be viewed on Campo Verde’s YouTube channel. To learn more about Campo Verde High and its student-centered events, visit

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