Hopi High School graduates 62



POLACCA, Ariz. — Sixty-two Hopi High students graduated May 26 at Bruin Stadium. About 300 parents, relatives and friends attended.

Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma and Vice Chairman Craig Andrews spoke briefly as they recognized Valedictorian Brady Namoki and Salutatorian Sariah Manheimer. Both spoke about being proud of the graduates, urging them to get an education and come back to help the community.

Hopi High Principal Lynn Fredericks gave a special recognition as she talked about the tough times they faced during the last couple years with COVID. She also recognized the top 10 scholars in the graduating class.

Outgoing music teacher Thomas Irwin recognized the AVID students and Laverne Lomakema recognized the GATE students.

Ricky Greer, activities director at Hopi High, said the many recognitions made the ceremony a little longer, but that it made it nicer.

Greer said the weather was ideal for both the high school graduation and junior high promotion. The weekends before and after graduations saw a lot of rain, but the weather was great for the ceremonies. The ceremonies had limited capacity and the chairs were socially distanced.

“There were a lot less restrictions than last year. The vendors could set up. It made for a nice evening,” he said. “The part that stood out to me was the parents had more freedom to roam around than last year. They could go up to take pictures. Last year, they were not able to do that, so it made for a special night.”

The ceremonies were also streaming online for people to watch. During the basketball season, the school setup the streaming.

“We had unmanned cameras so it couldn’t zoom in as much. It just gave an overall view. It was a bit disappointing, but that’s something to work on for next year,” he said.

Greer said COVID increased in January after the holidays. Cases also increased in May and June, but cases were low from February to May as they were able to finish the school year.

“We’re in a good place right now,” he said.

Rick “The Legend” Baker served as emcee. Glecil Parcon and Joharaj Acabel sang the national anthem.

Hopi Junior High Promotion

About 60 students were promoted during the Hopi Junior High promotion May 25 with about 250 attending. The ceremony was a bit shorter than the high school graduation.

Greer said it was a really nice event.

Keynote speaker Justin Secakuku, a Hopi High graduate, talk about the future as he wished the students well as they start thinking about careers. He told them to value their time in school as they leave their mark. He told them to build themselves up for the future.

Greer said the atmosphere was festive for the promotion ceremony.

Juwan Nuvayokva served as emcee. Hopi Junior High Principal Alban Naha recognized the top ten students. Hopi Vice Chairman Craig Andrews recognized Salutatorian Akayla Austin and Valedectorian Camy Sanchez.

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