Message to the Class of 2020

Posted 05.08.2020

There will be a Graduation!  We are currently living in unprecedented times.  This COVID-19 virus has challenged all facets of our life.  It has unfairly put our lives on hold and has taken away precious interactions with our own families, friends, and associates.  The administration and the staff of Shiprock High School dearly miss our students and we are disappointed we cannot spend our days with our students and to celebrate their accomplishments.  We are extremely disappointed that we cannot celebrate in person our seniors at this time.  We are also aware that our disappointment pales in comparison to you and your family’s disappointment.  BUT, Shiprock High School wants to make it perfectly clear that WE WILL celebrate your accomplishments in a LIVE ceremony when it is deemed reasonably safe by our Navajo Nation and State leaders.   In a recent survey that was provided to our senior students, the students responded overwhelming that they wanted a graduation even if it was at a later date.  We will respect this decision of our senior students.   We do not know when we will hold this graduation, but we look forward to that time when we can be together to celebrate.  If the student ordered their graduation announcements from Josten’s, Josten’s will provide insert notices, free of charge, reflecting the change in date of the graduation ceremony. 


Virtual Ceremony.  In the meantime, we do not want the previous scheduled day of your celebration to pass without any type of observation.  Therefore, we will hold a Virtual Ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of our senior students.  We know that this is in no way a substitute for your actual graduation and we are NOT designating this as your graduation.  Instead, it is a time to honor your achievement with the health and safety restrictions set in place by the Navajo Nation President and the Governor of New Mexico.  This virtual ceremony will be broadcast over the district’s Facebook page and we will send out notification on our school’s website on how to access this virtual ceremony.  Please invite your family and friends to view this virtual ceremony on their electronic devices.  Please note we are calling this a virtual ceremony because we want to reiterate that we will have a true Graduation at a later date. 


Diplomas.  At this time, we do not have an exact date when diplomas will be distributed to our seniors.  Before we can distribute diplomas, we need to do a senior check out to ensure that any JROTC uniforms, athletic uniforms and/or equipment, band uniforms and/or equipment, library books and/or fines, class textbooks and/or other materials, and any other materials and/or fines are properly returned or paid.  The School District is currently developing the plans on how to best accomplish this while still respecting the health orders of the Navajo Nation and the state of New Mexico that limit the number of people who can congregate in one area with proper social distancing.  As soon as we know the details for the senior check out, we will post this on our social media sites.


Graduation Status.  An email was recently sent out to seniors regarding their graduation status by their school counselor, either Ms. John (last names A-J) or Mr. Jones (last names K-Z).  In this email, senior students were notified whether they were on track to graduate.   The majority of our students fall in the category of good standings and are on track to graduate.  There are a few students who are still working on earning a passing grade in one or more of their school courses or need to turn in a letter of acceptance from a college or university.  We are asking our senior students to please complete any and all outstanding class work or finish their Edgenuity courses by May 15, 2020.  If a student cannot finish their course work by this date, they will be allowed to continue working until June 19, 2020, but the student will be considered a summer graduate and will not receive their diploma until this date.  If you have any questions on your graduation status, please reach out to Ms. John or Mr. Jones.


Senior Recognition.  Ms. Walter posted on the school’s social media sites a google form link for senior students to submit biographical information that will be used to recognize our students on our social media sites.  If you have not submitted your information, please submit this information to:

When you submit your information to this google sheet, you are giving the high school permission to post your picture and this information to the school’s social media sites.   The deadline to submit your biographical information is Wednesday, May 13, 2020.


Other Senior Recognition.  Shiprock High School is also looking at other areas to recognize our senior students.  We will share this information when it is available on our social media sites.


In closing, four years ago during this class’ eighth grade promotion, it was mentioned that you were now transitioning from Warriors to Chieftains.  The difference between the two was that as a Chieftain you would face greater challenges and you would have to make more difficult decisions, but at the same time, as a Chieftain, you would be wiser and would have a larger availability of tools to be successful.  Over the last four years, you all have grown as young adults and indeed your choices have become wiser.  This current situation is unfair, but each of you now have the tools that allow you to persevere, to be resilient, and to be successful.  This virus has temporarily taken away your achievement celebration, but it has not taken away your spirit as a successful and dynamic Chieftain.  The Class of 2020, more than any other class, embodies our school motto, “Once A Chieftain, Always a Chieftain.”


Continue to stay positive and we will soon celebrate as one when it is safe. 

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