Independence High Winter Graduation

Staying the Course: Mid-Year Independence Graduates Awarded Diplomas
Posted on 12/22/2017
On Monday, December 18, twenty-one students from Independence High School who completed degree requirements during the first semester received their hard-earned diplomas at a special ceremony in the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board Room.

View photos here!

IHS student at graduation ceremonyAll the features of a spring graduation were there: the graduates attired in mortarboards, tassels, and the traditional red and silver Independence academic gowns, the traditional processional to the strains of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance”, the speeches from Superintendent Sue Cleveland and Mayor Gregg Hull, and the triumphant smiles from students who in many cases overcame extraordinary obstacles to earn their diplomas.

Student speaker WIlliam Ortiz gives a speechThe student commencement speaker, William Ortiz, spoke of his journey to graduation, which included two years in foster care and attending several schools before arriving at Independence High.  He's now working, planning to attend CNM in the spring, and looking forward to a wilderness professional semester in the fall.  Ortiz thanked his teachers, mother, and friends, saying, "I knew that if I wanted to graduate on time, IHS would help me as much as they could, and they did. I cared more about school, the more I saw that I could do anything I wanted . . . If there's one thing that I want everyone to take from my speech, it's that I believe that everyone at IHS has an opportunity to make their life better, not just through education, but also through the experiences life throws at us. No one is alone on their journey. IHS grads Tyler Schnerch and Raina MartinezNo matter how much life gets to you, there will always be that light at the end of the tunnel.

Independence High School provides a small-school environment and provides support to students who may need flexibility and help in earning a diploma.  Some are working students and student parents or face other challenges in their personal lives, and some have fallen behind academically and need to catch up on coursework to qualify for graduation.