Graduates Take Flight |

Graduates Take Flight

Douglas' class of 2003 says so long
Alia Macquelin earns her wings at the DHS Graduation Friday evening. photo by Rick Gunn

Alia Macquelin earns her wings at the DHS Graduation Friday evening. |photo by Rick Gunn|

Daphne Bateman was valedictorian of her class at Douglas High School. So were Matthew Austin, Devon Bateman, Allison Hughes, Kerry Irvin, Alexander Parra, and Nicole Steele.

Seven in all, but apparently not six too many.

“It was based on GPAs, so no one was discriminated against,” Bateman said. “(All of) it feels absolutely amazing and I’m incredibly excited about the future of my class.”

Sasha Barragan was holding flowers and taking pictures with her friends.

To her it was ‘bomb.’

“It is surreal, the sense of accomplishment is unexplainable, and the fact that our class actually behaved…it’s bomb.”

Bomb in the vernacular, contrary to the paranoia of homeland security, means cool.

“I’m going to college to become a successful lawyer,” Barragan said. “Working with the needy helping all our people, I’ll be a future Cesar Chavez or Malcolm X.”

Co-principal Tom Morgan was upbeat afterward.

“At 405 graduates, it’s the largest class ever,” Morgan said. “In part because some kids graduated who otherwise might not have.”

Morgan referred to the suspended requirements for graduation, which allowed students who did not pass the math portion of the proficiency exam to participate in commencement exercises.

The bill also requires that the passing score for the math proficiency exam be lowered, so nearly half of those across the state who failed will have passed and will be eligible to receive diplomas.

The bill suspended the math requirement but leaves in place the reading and writing portions.

Nevada lawmakers approved a last-minute bill Friday during their special session to lower the passing score of the state-mandated test from 304 to 290.

The class of 2003 was saluted by two overhead “fly-bys” by five aircraft flying in formation, first heading west and then heading north.

Before the sun had set and the moon had risen, and Bill “Mr. Z” Zabelsky had directed the band in performing “Pomp and Circumstance.” A James Taylor song, “How Sweet It Is” played over the sound system, as people began filling the seats.

Whether or not graduates would let celebrations run out of control, plenty of police ran their lights in the parking lot as a friendly reminder.

“Tonight will be a family night,” said Susan Baldwin, co-principal.

The previous night, a preemptive non-alcoholic party was held for the grads.

As the PA announced lost keys and random names of people being looked for, another announcement was made.

“Remember to take it easy with the drinking,” it said.