The long-anticipated night for this year’s seniors at the high school is finally here. The class of 2016 will graduate tonight at 8 p.m. at the football stadium at Pahrump Valley High.
For the 221 students graduating the wait is now over.
“This is an important milestone for me,” graduating senior Tyler Baumgarten said. “I mean there are many students who don’t even get this far.” Baumgarten will be attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
For senior TJ Milk, a senior leaving town for college, “I consider this a stepping stone to the next part of my life,” he said.
Milk will be going to North Dakota to play football at Jamestown University.
“I will miss my family and will have to get used to not having my dad and mom at my games,” Milk said. “They always came and supported me. It will be different.”
The school valedictorian is Derek Moore, a four-year letterman on the golf team who will be going to the University of Nevada, Reno to study chemistry.
“I feel really good about graduation and being the valedictorian,” he said. “I have been wanting to be the top student since middle school. It has been a goal for a long time and it’s hard to explain. I always liked being the best.”
Moore said it was challenging to juggle his schoolwork and golf game throughout his time as a Trojans golfer.
“It never was a question about choosing school first over golf,” Moore said. “School was always first. I knew that school will serve me better in the future.”
He said his speech tonight will be short and to the point for those watching the clock. “In my speech I talked about how hard work and focus can take you a long way.”
Wesley Warren is this year’s salutatorian.
“I was excited to be the salutatorian this year,” Warren said. “It’s something that I have been working at since I was a freshman. I think I have a good work ethic.”
In his speech he will focus on wisdom and life-long learning.
“I think it is a valuable asset to keep learning,” he said. “I look back in time and see the progress I have made over the years.”
Warren will be attending Humboldt State next year to study marine biology.
The school has been working long hours in preparation for the ceremony. Over the past few days, 1,300 folding chairs were set up by students and staff in preparation for the full house.
The school says that parents can arrive as early as 6 p.m. The parking lot near the old freshmen class rooms on the east side of the campus will be open as well as the regular parking and there will be golf carts shuttling any person unable to walk to the football field. According to the school, the ceremony will last about 1.5 hours.
The high school will have the following rules for spectators:
SPECTATORS: Please arrive early to allow adequate time for seating. Gates will open at 6:00 pm and be closed at 7:45 p.m . If you arrive after this time with field seating tickets, please realize you will have to wait to take your seat until after the graduates have taken the field.
Water is sold on the premises as a school fundraiser. No outside food or drink will be allowed through the gates for safety issues.
Please remember there are no tobacco products: Electronic cigarettes, alcohol, or weapons allowed on school property. No balloons, signs, flowers, etc. (They obstruct other’s views), they will not be allowed through the gates. Leave them in your vehicle to be presented after the ceremony.
Professional pictures will be available: If you wish to take pictures of your graduate, please do so from your seat. Be considerate of all in attendance, remain seated throughout the entire ceremony. KPVMTV (Channel 46) will be videoing the entire ceremony and will be taking orders at the graduation.
SEATING: There will be limited seating on the football field. The bleacher area is open to the public. You will have to decide what is best for your family/situation. If you are not using all of your tickets please share them with other graduates that may use them.
INCLEMENT WEATHER PLANS: Taking into consideration our unusual weather, we have established a plan should the weather be too severe to hold the ceremony outdoors. If this determination is made, an automated phone call will go out in the early afternoon on graduation day to inform all parents. If the ceremony has to be moved indoors, only two persons per student will be allowed to attend due to capacity limits and fire codes. Two of the field seat tickets your graduate receives are stamped with a red Trojan head. These tickets will need to be shown for entry. We certainly hope this will not be the case, but ask for cooperation and understanding should it have to happen.
DIPLOMAS: Diplomas will not be given out at the graduation ceremony. Graduates will need to pick them up at the PVHS main office beginning Wednesday, June 1st through June 10th between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. We will return July 20th to continue hand-outs. Diplomas will be released to graduates only (not parents, siblings or friends unless previously requested by graduate).