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Students reflect on school year

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By Don Pace

It’s an age-old tradition — one in which both Dons and Cardinals took part last week at their schools: They scrawled messages in each other’s yearbooks.

It was also a time to reflect on the last school year.

West Las Vegas High School student body President Christa Lucero said, “Last year when I decided to run for president, I told myself that we were going to make sure this year was a year to remember.”

And indeed the West Las Vegas class of 2009 had many successes — they were champions in academics, music and sports.

Principal Gene Parson and Music Director Arnell David Arellanes were nominated for high honors and students brought home trophy after trophy. They participated in adventures that took them to see firsthand state, national, and sometimes international events unfold. And they brought back top honors everywhere they went.

Student Briana Montaño said, “This year went by quick and we enjoyed everything from homecoming to sitting here at the yearbook signing.”

Fellow student Jared Gallegos agreed.

“I enjoyed my senior year big time from our sports successes, to our dances and our prom. It was the best,” Gallegos said. 

Across town at Robertson, students were equally upbeat at their yearbook signing.

With a year filled with what amounted to be scandals, reported by local and state media, the class had its grim moments.

Senior class President Deja Chavez said, “This year has been hard. We’ve seen ups and downs, but we did it. For me, it was hard because as senior class president, I had to make things work. I had to make senior week work out, and we did it with the help of our class sponsors.”

Bryndon Jordan, the student representative on the Las Vegas City Schools board, has been outspoken on student issues. He said this year had been tough, but had given rise to a resolute belief that his fellow students were determined to remember the good times.

“Many students probably wouldn’t have done as well with the focus on the few, but I am proud of our accomplishments in sports, music and academics. We can talk about bad things that happen everywhere, but I along with the class of 2009 say this was the best year we ever had,” Jordan said.

After the yearbook signing ceremony at RHS, a smaller event took place. Students gathered to put treasured possessions into a time capsule and plant a tree that would symbolize a new beginning.

“This all came about from our student advocate on the board (Bryndon Jordan),” Superintendent Rick Romero told the Optic. “He wanted to do something that was symbolic of the circumstances that we’ve all had to deal with this year. This is a way for them to put the memories we have of this year in a time capsule, and a way of moving forward. Students have brought an article that they hold dear and have used in school activities throughout the year.”

Romero said that this was a memorial to the students who have handled themselves with dignity and grace in the face of adversity, and this was a way to honor them.

“And give them that recognition that they deserve, saying that, this was a tough year, but it was a good year,”  Romero said.