TUBA CITY, Ariz. — For the 2018 Tuba City Junior High School (TCJHS) eighth graders, graduation day is a step toward a new high school adventure and the next chapter of their academic career, as they move closer to college.
TCJHS held its annual graduation ceremony May 25 at the high school’s Warrior Pavilion with hundreds of parents, relatives and community members in attendance to support the students.
The TCUSD Governing Board: President Ron Begay, Board Clerk Evelyn Kiyaani, board members Mary Worker, Marie Acothley and Lee Tsinigine and TCJHS Principal Dr. Melissa Bilagody assisted in transitioning the students from junior high to high school.
It was an all-student presentation crew, starting with Master of Ceremony Kanye Ignacio and opening prayer by Dianna Hawke.
Posting of Colors was performed by TCHS Marine Corps ROTC under the direction of Sgt. Maj. Johnson and Sgt. Major Witt.
The National anthem was sung by Jaycelyn Tallsalt, STUCO secretary. Ehcaymmi Isaac introduced the guest speaker, former Tuba City High Alum Warrior, Ms. Annabelle Bowen, whose home community is Kaibeto. Bowen currently serves as the Arizona State University director of the Office of the President for American Indian Initiatives.
Bowen, who lived in Tuba City most of her life, attended Tuba City District Schools and after graduating from Tuba City High School, went to Arizona State University (ASU).
“Focus on your grades. Focus on your academics. All of my professors, before I went to college, were originally my own home community people,” Bowen said. “When I first got to ASU, my dad said to me, ‘Annabelle, you belong here. You belong here in this place of education, it’s time to take what you learned in Tuba City, now, make a difference. You can do it.’”
Bowen reminded the junior high students to ‘always take care of your own families and always take care of your original community.’
“We have that tribal and community responsibility. Even though you go onto college, get your degree and a competitive job, you must stay community minded,” Bowen said. “It’s important to learn about world issues that affect our tribal communities and we must speak out on events or subjects that affect us here at home. Always remember to smile and be happy, be grateful. That good attitude can change things and make a huge difference in your own positivity.”
Tuba City Junior High 2018 Outstanding Academic students who made National Honor Society are: Ayden Beam, Gitanjili Begay, Jayden Dugi, Nya Etsitty, Johnathan Gutierrez, Roshelle Hawee, Cianna Hawke, Ehcaymmi Isaac, Martin John, Papsiya Lomayestewa, Kyle Joshua Morales, Kaylee Navaho, Jaileen Nelson, Dion Singer, Austin Smith, Sherwin Taquiso and Tameka Yazzie.
National Honor Society Officers were also recognized: Jayden Dugi as president, Cianna Hawke vice president. Kaylee Navaho, secretary and Papsiya Lomayestewa, treasurer
TCJHS Student Council officers and representatives were also noted at the ceremony: Ehcaymmi Isaac, president. Jonathan Guiterrez, vice president. Jaycelyn Tallsalt, secretary. Mikyla Johnson, treasurer.
Eighth grade representatives: Dierra Allena and Ty-Dylan Chissie Seventh grade representative Kailer Reid. Sixth grade representatives: Taylor Allen and Tyric Dodson.
Presentation of the eighth graduation class was made by Principal Melissa Bilagody.
Presentation of diplomas by the TCUSD Governing Board.