Carson High School graduates ‘one of those remarkable classes’ |

Carson High School graduates ‘one of those remarkable classes’

Jessica Garcia |

Carson High School graduate Jack Dudley is planning a quick departure from Nevada in two weeks to begin a summer session with Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, but said his experience as CHS student body president this past school year was a unique opportunity to serve his fellow students.

“I just want to give props to the school because none of us could go where we’re going without the teachers and the students … and I was excited because Carson High School really built my strong educational foundation for my future and I’m excited to continue my education,” Dudley said.

More than 520 graduating seniors received their diplomas at Carson High’s graduation Saturday as proud families cheered them on the football field and school district officials congratulated them.

The morning events kicked off in the big gym with graduates gathering for a class photo.

Health and physical education coach Jennifer Minifee excitedly had been cheering on all of Carson High School’s graduates as they awaited for instructions but in an instant, upon reflecting her own daughter was a member of the Class of 2019, she teared up. Another staff member was quick to offer her a Kleenex.

“I had these kids when they were freshmen four years ago, and so to see them grow up and get ready for the next phase of their life is exciting,” Minifee said. “I had Jack-Jack (Dudley). But I’m super excited.”

Minifee said her daughter, Shea DeJoseph, will enter as a freshman volleyball player at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., where her son is now a basketball player.

“It’s the height,” she said laughing. “We’re all tall.”

But as a teacher for 24 years, she said, graduation is always a special time.

“I enjoy the energy of the kids, and I just feel like the kids, they’re so smart,” she said. “I think they are always so excited to come to school. … They’re excited to learn.”

DeJoseph, 17, said she wants to study to become an elementary teacher.

“I’m so excited I’m graduating!” she said. “It’s been an amazing year. … You just want to push through and get it done. (But I look forward to) growing up and becoming an adult. I’m excited for that.”

Principal Tasha Fuson said of this year’s class before the students began their procession, “I’d say this is one of those very special classes, one of those remarkable classes. I have students that are a combination of incredible intelligence and amazing personalities, so this is like the kindest class we’ve had as a whole group. They’ll go out into the world and do phenomenal things.”

The graduates made their entrance, and the commencement’s opening remarks included comments and words of advice from Jump Start valedictorian Natalia Jo Smith who received her associate’s degree from Western Nevada College.

“After getting my associate’s degree, first is you need to be an advocate for yourself,” Smith said. “No one else knows how hard you work. … Always be kind to everyone because you don’t know anyone else’s story.”

She was followed by valedictorians Gabriel Covington and Hannah Hodorowicz and senior class president Evan Cherpeski.

“The most important lessons I learned here were not the ones taught in classes,” Cherpeski said in reflection. “They were the moments in between instruction, the gaps between formal learning. … Although haters are preying on my downfall, I’m praying for all of your success. Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!”

Fuson wrapped up the student speakers with comments on sharing CHS’ outstanding student achievements this year.

In addition to the two valedictorians, Carson this year showed a four-way tie between salutatorians, including Susan Fliegler, Emily Matuska, Emma Rosen and Lauren Thompson. The school also produced a Presidential Scholar, Crystal Vargas, one of three named in the state and 161 high school seniors nationally to be recognized as such.

“You often don’t get classes that have both, where it’s an incredibly intelligent group as well as just having that strong sense of character and who they are, and so we are super sad to see these guys go,” Fuson said.