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Mustangs move on to bigger things

It was an emotion-filled ceremony celebrating the graduation of Maple School's 8th-grade students who will be moving on to begin the next chapter of their education.

Maple School is a small, tight-knit community with some students attending from transitional kindergarten to 8th grade.

Arianna Bernal said, "I am excited but also sad to leave my friends because they are going to different schools. I will miss all the memories and the friendships I had with everyone."

She added, "I am a little nervous because it's a big change to a bigger school."

Her favorite teacher was Rocky Salcido.

"I grew up with him and did the track program with him."

As one of the featured speakers, she said, "Big hearts is what makes us unique."

Like many of the 32 graduating students, she received extra recognition for her exemplary academics.

"I earned two medals for honor roll and all-time honor roll. It makes me feel good about myself knowing I can accomplish things I set my mind to."

It was a good turnout of friends and family who came to support their loved ones.

Brent Bryan came to see his granddaughter, Kallie, walk the stage.

"I wish her the best of luck. She's got a good head on her shoulders. She is a lovely young lady, and we're very proud of her."

Principal Stephanie Trickey has been with Maple School for 12 years as a teacher, with four of those years as principal.

"This is a great class. I was their first-grade teacher years ago, and even back then, they had a special spunk. They've been a fun-loving group," she said. "I hope they will find their passion and pursue it with everything in them."

Her advice for them in high school was, "Get involved, try new things and just enjoy every moment."

Jesse Cranfill, an education tech specialist teacher, said, "They have a lot of potential for high school and beyond."

Teacher Rocky Salcido said, "All of our students are amazing, and this class is nothing short of that. Seeing them split up and go to different schools is always hard. It's also rewarding to see them continue doing well in high school."

Parent Amando Chavez said of his daughter, Isabel, " She's ready for high school. She's worked really hard for it. She was honor roll all her 8th-grade year and was voted volleyball player of the year."

Marshall Johnson, a teacher, said of his graduating student, Juan Gallardo, "I'm going to miss him tremendously. Not all students make an impact on a teacher, but he's definitely one of them."

He said that he grew really close to his students by spending a lot of time with them.

"I got to see them grow and mature."

Superintendent Bryan Easter left behind a final message.

"Mustangs, go and do great things."


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