Pioneer High School graduates 56 in Class of 2017 |

Pioneer High School graduates 56 in Class of 2017

Millennium Scholarship recipients Catherine Taylor-Dillon, Alexandria Sorensen, Rebecca Ostrander and Haley Davis take the stage Thursday night during Pioneer High graduation. (Not pictured: Valedictorian Regan Hammond, Konnor Van Worth and Bailey Armagost)
Brad Coman/Nevada Appeal |

Graduation at Pioneer High School on Thursday not only celebrated the students’ graduation but those who helped get them there.

For many of the student speakers, graduation signified their hard work and the work the teachers and staff at Pioneer did to help them get to this point.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without you guys,” said Catherine Taylor-Dillon. “I want to credit our teachers for opening our minds to new things.”

But the student accomplishments were plentiful.

“I hope we take our personal accomplishments and realize that anything is possible if we put our minds to it,” said Victor Chavez.

Among those honored were three students who were awarded scholarships from local organizations and four students were awarded Millennium Scholarship for academic excellence. Pioneer Principal Jason Zona also made sure to recognize students in their achievements with Career and Technical Education health management, Jumpstart College students, Jobs for American Graduates students, those going into the military after graduation, and students who achieved excellence in culinary, musical theater and arts.

“As you can see, we have a variety of talented students here at Pioneer High School, so congratulations to them,” Zona said. “We applaud your perseverance and determination.”

Zona also honored Regan Hammond, the valedictorian who achieved a 4.69 grade point average and Rebecca Ostrander, the salutatorian who achieved a 3.92 grade point average.

“I want to say how proud I am of all you guys … I love you,” said Taylor-Dillon.

Superintendent Richard Stokes also spoke to the students about perseverance and achieving goals as they continue on in life.

“I know many of you have overcome challenges to get here, so my hat’s off to you,” Stokes said.

Stokes told the story of Glenn Cunningham, a man who went from being paralyzed from the waist down in an accident to becoming an Olympic track athlete. He told the students like Cunningham, their future is up to them and they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to.

“So what happens next is up to you,” Stokes said. “You’re history is yet to be written.”

At the end, the students honored the time old tradition of turning their tassels to the left as Zona introduced the 56 new high school graduates to the community.

“It is with great pleasure I pronounce you graduates of Pioneer High School.”