Bill Armendariz - Headlight Photo  Deming High class of 2013 salutatorian Velia Moran and valedictorian Diego Quintana show off their hardware for
Bill Armendariz - Headlight Photo Deming High class of 2013 salutatorian Velia Moran and valedictorian Diego Quintana show off their hardware for finishing Nos. 1 and 2 in accumulative grad point average during Friday's graduation commencement exercise at DHS Memorial Stadium. processed by IntelliTune on 26052013 162728 with script 11*New - blk-new SUB (null)

They entered wide-eyed and full of anxious energy. And if Friday is any indication, the Class of 2013 will leave Deming High that same way.

Two hundred and seventy-nine graduating seniors filed into DHS Memorial Stadium to receive diplomas, and the pomp and circumstance that drove the evening had all eyes and ears - and some hearts - in overdrive.

DHS art teacher Jesse Kriegel spoke in the language of the seniors who selected him as their class speaker. He had a message about "YOLO," a teen slang word that circulated on the campus this past school year. Kriegel banned the acronym for "You Only Live Once" from his classroom when he learned of the indifferent connotation for the word's use.

Bill Armendariz - Headlight Photo  From left, Mariana Burke, Angela Rico, Allison Wycoff and Myriam Martinez take their final walk around DHS Memorial
Bill Armendariz - Headlight Photo From left, Mariana Burke, Angela Rico, Allison Wycoff and Myriam Martinez take their final walk around DHS Memorial Stadium during Friday's Class of 2013 graduation ceremony. (null)

"It has become a catch phrase for not caring," Kriegel said.

His advice for the class was for them to think of "YOLO" differently. "If you truly live only once, then live a life full of gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, determination, responsibility, respect and honor," Kriegel said.

"Use it as a motivation to be the best person you can possibly be, and achieve as much as you possibly can in life."

The Top 10 seniors, based on their grade-point averages, were presented and awarded. Velia Moran (4.636 GPA) was salutatorian and Diego Quintana (4.676 GPA) was valedictorian.

Each took a turn at the podium. Moran reminded her classmates of the familiar faces who have helped each graduate achieve a seat on the 50-yard line.

"We are meant to go great places, and with that, we will climb far, we will climb high, our goal will be the sky, but our aim will be the stars."

Quintana told classmates this was not a farewell, but a nudge, like a bird gives to nestlings to take flight.

"We were teenagers yesterday but are adults today though our mothers don't always see it so.

Bill Armendariz - Headlight Phot  Richard Regalado hugs Deming High Guidance Office worker Yvonne Perales after receiving his diploma Friday at DHS
Bill Armendariz - Headlight Phot Richard Regalado hugs Deming High Guidance Office worker Yvonne Perales after receiving his diploma Friday at DHS Memorial Stadium. processed by IntelliTune on 26052013 162743 with script 11*New - Defaut Skin-SUB (null)

"The next few years will not be the easiest. We should regard them with the same care a parent takes in raising a child; with diligence and hard work. I know all of us can be someone great."

With diplomas in hand, DHS Principal Janean Garney dismissed the senior class of 2013 one final time.

Bill Armendariz is editor of the Deming Headlight. He may be reached at 575-546-6303.