Blackwater Community School Holds Outdoor Promotion for Fifth Grade Class
Gila River indian News
Fifth grade students from the Blackwater Community School (BWCS) advanced in academics during a promotions ceremony held on Wednesday, May 25.
The promoting class of 2022 is the first to graduate from the school’s new campus. The new campus finished construction last Fall and opened up for in-person learning in March for pre-school to fifth-grade students.
“I’m so glad to see parents, grandparents, and our students, of course, all getting together at one place, sitting face-to-face,” said Jagdish (Jack) Sharma, Principle for Blackwater Community School.
“I just want to thank the GRIC COVID Task Force, Governor’s Office, and Community Council, otherwise, we could not have done it,” Sharma said.
For the promotion, BWCS maintained safety precautions. Students were allowed to bring up to three guests. All attendees underwent health checks for COVID-19 upon arriving for everyone’s safety.
Additional safety measures included hosting the ceremony in the school’s new outdoor amphitheater for the event.
“There’s so much potential here, this school has such a history of high educational standards,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis.
He added, “Our education is in our schools, they are going to provide the education that our children need to peek, to be good students and to be able to grasp the education once they leave Blackwater Community School.”
Gov. Lewis, Lt. Governor Monica Antone, School Board President Gwendolyn Paul, and Tribal Education Department’s K-12 Education Manager Lance Reyna all provided remarks for the ceremony.
Later, Principal Sharma and Assistant Principal Misty Lopez presented certificates to nearly 50 students promoted to middle school.
Student Chaston Thomas recited the pledge of allegiance in O’otham. And later, he received the “Principal’s Honor Roll” award for his outstanding academic achievements throughout the school year and during the pandemic. Lt. Gov. Monica Antone presented the award to Thomas, a recipient of the 2022 Chief Azul Scholar Award.
Additional outstanding students included Michael Castro and Erin Johns, who received the “Student of the Year” award at the ceremony.
“It was good to be around hajun (family) and friends and watching the little ones take those steps into adulthood,” said District 1 Council Representative Arzie Hogg, who attended the ceremony, “Prayers and well wishes to those graduates.”