Presidio High School bids farewell to the Class of 2023 

Aylin Armendariz recites the Presidio High School fight song one last time before graduating on Friday. Staff photo by Sam Karas.

PRESIDIO — Last Friday night, Presidio High School’s Class of 2023 walked off the stage at the Blue Devil Gym and into bright futures. Family and friends dressed to the nines congregated for an evening of fun and celebration that culminated in the traditional “Senior Circle” ceremony on the baseball field. 

The festivities started the night before with a light-and-siren escort through town and a blessing at Santa Teresa Church. Father Mike Alucino said that the ceremony was open to everyone and was a way for the church to send the students off on a positive note. “We really just hope and pray that they’ll be guided in life, that they’ll continue to grow and pursue their dreams,” he said. 

Principal Hevila Ramos led Friday’s ceremony with a brief note of appreciation for the seniors — who were freshmen when she took up her post at Presidio High School. “The Class of 2023 has a special place in my heart as we both started as freshmen four years ago,” she said. “Now — with all of life’s experiences that we have shared — tonight we conclude our journey together.”

Paul Carrillo Medrano followed with a short address to his classmates expressing the anxiety and joy of heading off into the unknown. “This transition awaits each of us … and we stand ready to embrace it,” he said. “We will work not only for ourselves but also for our families, friends and the broader community.” 

Next, Valedictorian Kenia Rubi Hernandez built on Medrano’s remarks with an appreciation for the journey that the tight-knit, small-town class had embarked on together. “I look around and become sure of what an amazing class we are,” she said. “I remember the time when we were only small kids not knowing what the great –– and at the same time terrifying –– things awaited us only a few years later.” 

Presidio High School Class of 2013 Alumna Itza Rodriguez served as the guest speaker for Friday night’s proceedings. Rodriguez is an aerospace engineer who has worked for Boeing and Blue Origin — and spoke to some of the difficulties of growing up in a small border town and rising to the top of the pack in a difficult and competitive field. 

Rodriguez grew up in Ojinaga and transferred to Presidio High School as an English-language acquisition student. She had to leave some of her relatives across the river in order to pursue her education — but felt that the same love and support radiating from her family helped push her to succeed, despite the odds. 

Still — graduation scared her. “It’s like stepping on the edge of the cliff,” she said. “It’s okay to be confused — what matters is figuring out who you are and what you’re passionate about.”