Turning point: Portales grads have many plans

Freedom Newspapers: Karl Terry Portales High School graduates toss their caps toward the rafters of Greyhound Arena Friday night following graduation.

By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers

Portales High School graduate Justin Jones admitted he was torn by conflicting emotions Friday night in Greyhound Arena moments after his class tossed their caps skyward.

“We’ve gone 13 years together and we made it,” Jones said. “We’ve all got mixed emotions, we want to leave, but at the same time we don’t.”

Despite the chaos of the graduation moment, Jones had his goal for the future clearly in mind. He said he plans to attend Eastern New Mexico University in the fall and begin working toward a degree in veterinary medicine. He intends to complete the goal at the University of Texas.

Others, like salutatorian Ella Erf aren’t as zeroed in on their future goals.

“We’ve all been asked one question over and over,” Erf said in her address to the class. “What are you going to be when you grow up?

“I’m here to tell you it’s all right if you don’t have the answer right now.”

Erf said many such as herself hadn’t figured it out yet and she urged her classmates to take time to explore and enjoy life.

Jordan Ennis has a more immediate career path in mind — working on the railroad. Ennis said he will enter a training program for railway workers. After training he intends to go to work for BNSF Railroad.

“I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things,” Ennis said.

Felicia Corrales said she was excited to be graduating, and like Ennis, was ready for the next step. Her plans include attending Clovis Community College in the fall with a goal of becoming an educator. She figures she’ll probably transfer to ENMU later to finish the degree.

Sabina Dominguez, who plans on going to college and eventually becoming a probation officer, said attending PHS was special. She said she’ll miss family and friends most as she moves on in her life.

Valedictorian Eric Visage challenged his classmates to use their god-given wits, talent and common sense for good.

“Ladies and gentlemen, when you look at these young men and women before you tonight, envision successful men and women,” Visage said. “Graduates don’t ever forget the confidence that has been placed in you.”

The PHS class of 2007 graduated 141 seniors.