Skyline Gila River Holds First In-Person Graduation in New Campus

Kyle Knox
Gila River Indian News


Skyline Gila River High School held its first in-person graduation ceremony for the class of 2022. Family, friends, and supporters gathered in honor of the 20 graduates on May 13. This was the first class to complete all four years in their new campus at 255 E. Riggs Road in Chandler.


The challenges of online school during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic made the occasion more joyous for many who faced several hurdles outside of school, including technological obstacles, the pandemic, and “senioritis” for some. 


“The most pride a principal can have is seeing the students enjoy and celebrate their graduation day,” said Skyline Gila River principal Vaughn Flannigan. “All the hard work they put in, dealing with everything to get to tonight, is beautiful because they did it all for themselves.” 


Principal Flannigan said he felt this class represents a strong group of youth that have demonstrated what resiliency truly encompasses. He remarked, “I’m looking forward to seeing them all find much success in life because they’ve endured what they have and continued to stick with it [school]. It shows that they have determination, [they] put the effort in, and they will go far in life because they have this [time] to reference.”


The ceremony included an address from class of 2022 valedictorian Emma Kyyitan, District 4, who completed her schooling early. She finished school in December 2021 but chose to walk with her peers.  


Vying for academic success during the pandemic in her senior year wasn’t easy, Kyyitan said. She stated, “It was very stressful, and I was nervous, but I am proud of myself.” 


Kyyitan found the best remedy to her woes was when in-person school returned, saying it was a turning point for her. This fall, she will begin college at Grand Canyon University to pursue pre-medicine, and she plans a career in pediatric medicine. 


Aaron Enos, District 4, 2022 salutatorian, also provided an address, saying, “It was hard at first, but we never lost focus, always stayed positive, and kept a good mindset.” Enos will attend Universal Technical College to pursue an automotive career.