Sacaton Middle School presents the class of 2019 at eighth grade promotion

Roberto A. Jackson

Gila River Indian News



The eighth-grade class from Sacaton Middle School spent one final night surrounded by their classmates before their official promotion to high school on May 22. High school and college awaits the class of 2019, but a gym filled with supporters celebrated their final act as Sacaton Braves before they leap to the next level of their education. 


Dr. Cherryl Paul called this close-knit class of over 50 students “united,” and addressed them directly in her welcome message. 

“You have learned how to be trustworthy, treat people with respect, be responsible, and fair, as well as embrace any leadership opportunities.”


The eighth-grade promotion was attended by the Sacaton Elementary School District Governing Board, Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Lt. Gov. Robert Stone, Tribal Education Director Isaac Salcido and Chemawa Ambassador Sunny Pratt, from Chemawa Indian School and former Sacaton Middle School student. 


“I think this is one of the most outstanding classes we’ve ever had, for a number of different reasons,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis.

The basketball team won a championship and the student body also organized an initiative to change the dress code. They presented to the governing board and Sacaton schools will now offer two more colors for the students. 


“That was all initiated by the kids,” said Dr. Paul. 


The focus stayed on the students as they enjoyed their last moments at Sacaton Middle School.

“This is your day,” said Lt. Gov. Robert Stone. 


Lt. Gov. Stone also told the students that the Community believes in them and to look ahead to more accomplishments. 

“You know you have a bright future, this is only a little step of your life going forward,” said Lt. Gov. Stone. 


Dale Enos presented Lillian Baptisto and Gracie Mark with the Brandon G. Enos Educational Foundation scholarships. 

Gerald VanHardenburg and Tiyana Johns also spoke on behalf of their classmates in addition to Mathew Williams who gave a farewell address. Williams called this year amazing and said the class is ready to take, “a big leap into our future.”