Class of 2023 salutes Douglas High’s finest

Douglas High School graduates toss their mortarboards in the air on Friday evening at the school.

Douglas High School graduates toss their mortarboards in the air on Friday evening at the school.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

A banner in the commons at Douglas High School reads, “through these halls walk the finest people in the world, the Douglas Tigers.” That statement extends to all students across Douglas County who graduated Friday.

More than 300 students between Douglas High School, ASPIRE Academy, Douglas Nevada Online and the Adult Education programs received diplomas for their dedication and accomplishments, academically and socially.

“Regardless of individual circumstances, you have made the conscious decision to push forward,” said Superintendent Keith Lewis.

At Douglas High School several honors, college readiness diplomas, advanced diplomas, and jumpstart graduates were recognized along with Jacob Willis who received the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Award with a GPA of 5.05.

Principal Mike Rechs said this year there were 12 students who completed the Jumpstart Program at Western Nevada College, seven of which completed two years in the program and graduated with an associate degree and 42 students earned Cum Laude with a GPA of 4.0-4.49 and 27 students received Magna Cum Laude with a GPA of 4.49 to 4.99.

“I simply want to say thank you,” said Rechs. “Thank you for the pride and determination you have shown this year, thank you for never giving up, your perseverance, for supporting each other, for your service in this wonderful community we live in and for outstanding success in the classroom.”

At ASPIRE Academy, students’ successes were more personal as teachers and staff shared the seven graduates’ inner growth and accomplishments, alongside their academic achievements.

Class speaker Sage Nayeli Tinajero-James talked about her triumph and second chance with ASPIRE Academy.

“I love you ASPIRE,” she said. “Thank you for all you have done for me and my friends and classmates.”

The Douglas Nevada Online graduates were recognized for their commitment, work ethic, organization and time management.

“Despite pressures of social media, a pandemic and others these students did not give up, if they did, it was only for a short time,” said Aspire Academy and Douglas Nevada Online Principal Gavin Ward. “Parents, friends and family I know they wouldn’t be here without your support. I’m glad that these students were able to get through what they needed to in order to walk across this stage.”

The high school equivalency recipients were commended for their determination to succeed and press on.

“Today is a day of triumph and celebration, it symbolizes determination, growth and the possibilities that lie ahead,” said Lewis.

In addition to the students two awards were presented to Douglas High School staff.

Carmen Patron was named support staff of the year.

“She was nominated for her compassion and empathy towards everyone,” said Rechs. “On any given day Carmen might be found congratulating students on their athletic accomplishments, commending a student for staying after school for tutoring or offering a snack to a student who might be hungry. Simply said she thinks of our teachers and students as her own family. She makes sure our school a great place to come to work every day.”

Inclusive Education teacher Anna Willis was named teacher of the year.

“Her dedication to students, for the way she represents our school, for her professionalism always, for her compassion, for always placing students best interests as the top priority, for her leadership, for the way she loves her job, and for the way she is always there for her students when they need some place to go, is what awarded her the teacher of the year,” said Rechs.

Several retiring employees across the Douglas County School District were also praised for their dedication to the schools, including Vanessa Ozolins, Kim Brown, Lorna Doerr, Susan Harmon, Steve Maltase, Renee McCreary, Lauren O Neill, Mikie Peacock, Becky Tupa, Doug Acker, Sean Buscay, Cindy Carr, Nita Fry, Tom Gremore, Dennis Hielscher, Connie Kohler, Tracy Oliveria, Janice parker, Jackie Peters, Lupe Quiroga and Robert Stirling.


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