State auditor encourages young people to succeed

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By Don Pace

New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas in his keynote address encouraged the Robertson High School class of 2008 to be brilliant.

“I would like you to live a brilliant life — the word brilliant is often used to describe mathematicians, artists, an athlete that makes a last second shot, but I believe each one of you possesses the energy, the talent, the will, the drive and the values to lead a brilliant life,” Balderas told the class.

Commencement exercises began with Wallace Sanchez directing the Robertson Red Wave Band in the processional followed by student Gwendolyn Rubi singing the National Anthem. School board President Patrick Romero welcomed the 134 graduates, family and friends.

Speaking directly to graduates, Romero reminded them that they were about to enter the real world.

“If you think that your teachers were tough, wait until you get a boss,” Romero said to laughter.

Seniors Adam Ratzlaff and co-presidents Miguel Montoya and Cheryl Conway gave a final address to fellow students.

“I will miss you, my friends the class of 2008,” Ratzlaff said. “I spent more time with you over the years than I spent with my own family, and I am so petrified at the thought that we will be headed our separate ways and I probably will not see many of you ever again.”

He said no amount of education could prepare a person to say goodbye because during his high school years he has had the honor and privilege to know such kind and wonderful people.

Montoya encouraged students to look at the student next to them and give them a smile, pat on the back or a hug.

“My advice to you is stuff you’ve already learned — remember to always share, play fair, no hitting, always say you’re sorry and thank you, and always say, I love you,’” Montoya said.

Conway reminisced about dancing through the halls, band, proms and state championships and wondered where the time has gone.

“These are memories we will cherish forever. We may look back, but we are ready to face the fast changing pace of the world. Let’s dream as if we will live forever and let us live with all the dedication and prosperity as if we have one day to live,” Conway said.

April Esquibel only spent three years in high school after being advanced.

“I’m going to miss everyone I met in the new class, they treated me so well throughout the three years I was with them. I’m going to miss football games, hanging out with my girlfriends and all the drama, even though that’s what everyone hates, but that’s what you come to love in high school.”

Esquibel will enter University of New Mexico pharmacy school as a junior after earning enough credits to graduate from Luna Community College.

Robertson Principal Richard Lopez praised the class of 2008.

“It was a wonderful celebration and ceremony. Goosebumps come about this time every year and I wish them the best of luck.”

With a grin, Lopez noted some of the pranks students pulled through the year like letting chickens go in the hallway. “They can be mischievous but at the same time they’re prepared and they show their love.”

Gwendolyn Rubi spoke for all students when she said, “I feel ecstatic — I’m done, I’m done, I’m done! But I am definitely going to miss classmates who I have been with since second grade.

The Robertson graduation lasted two and a half hours.