Sacaton Middle School Promotes 51 Students for the Class of 2022
Gila River Indian News
Over two days, Sacaton Middle School held its promotion ceremony for all 51 eighth grader students that will proceed to high school next year. The ceremony ushered three to four students into their gymnasium for a short ceremony that kept everyone safely distanced on May 25 and 26.
The ceremonies allowed families of each graduate to attend and cheer on their students as they crossed the stage and received their certificates and gifts from the school.
“We want to say that we’re so proud of you all here, the last two years have been difficult, but you all pressed on, stuck with it, and now you’re all ready to move on to the next step in your education,” said Bright Benson, Sacaton Middle School Principal.
“No matter what happens to you in the next steps in your education, your Community and your family need you to be a modern-day Brave. So go get your education, come back, and be of benefit to this Community because we need you,” said Benson.
“Congratulations to the class of 2022 from Sacaton Middle School, all the Braves and Bravettes,” said Governor Stephen Roe Lewis during a pre-recorded message. “As Governor of the Gila River Indian Community, I’m so proud of all that you’ve been able to accomplish,” Gov. Lewis encouraged everyone to continue their academic journeys or chosen career paths.
“Your Community is behind you and wants you to succeed because you are the future leaders, and you are our future going forward. Best wishes to you all, and I look forward to great things for every single one of you,” said Gov. Lewis
Former Jr. Miss Gila River 2020-22 Sineca Jackson also provided an address for the students. “I encourage every one of you to continue your academic journey, even after high school,” said Jackson. “Don’t ever let anyone tell you ‘you can’t reach your goals,’ Through personal experience, I’ve dealt with that myself. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished this far. Go Braves!”
Fighting back tears, Amare Pratt walked across the stage, received her certificate, and said, “I feel great. These are tears of joy, and I’m happy to have my friends and family here to support me.” The school recognized Pratt during the ceremony as a recipient of the Brandon G. Enos scholarship award. Pratt will be attending Casa Grande Union High School next. Afterwards, she hopes to pursue her dreams of playing professional basketball with the Phoenix Mercury or she also considers becoming an architect in her future.
Kristen Barros, Behavior Interventionist at Sacaton Middle School, was happy to see the rotational in-person ceremonies happening for the students. “We’ve missed our students over the last two years, so it’s amazing to see them and spend time with them. We’re so proud of them and happy to watch them grow.” Compared to last year’s drive-thru ceremony, she said this year’s promotion feels more personable for the students and families.