MAY 28, 2014

CSHS graduates 419 seniors at May 22 commencement

Class of 2014 members awarded $8.8 million in scholarships, a new record for Cactus Shadows
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cshs graduationThe graduation candidates, 219 strong, stand for a class photo before the start of commencement at Phoenix First Assembly.  Photo by Danielle Bennett

CSHS – Cheered on (as usual) by spontaneous acclamations, whistles and an occasional sneaked-in air horn (from proud parents, family members and friends), 419 seniors graduated Cactus Shadows High School the evening of May 22 at commencement-friendly Phoenix First Assembly.

At Senior Awards Night, Monday, May 19 in the Cave Creek Fine Arts Center, Principal Steve Bebee had proudly announced that student applicants from the Class of 2014 had been awarded $8.8 million in college scholarships and financial aid, representing a new record for Cactus Shadows. Sonoran News congratulates these graduates on this notable achievement.

Seniors Alison Romash and Kristen DiCicco announced the Class Gift, a large rendering of the Cactus Shadows Falcon which will adorn the front façade of Cactus Shadows’ library. The mural will be designed and executed by CSHS art instructor Nicole Bellino and should be completed by late summer or early fall.

Some sports housekeeping, please. First, my congratulations and good wishes to five Falcon athletes, whose dedication to their respective teams exemplified “Falcon Pride.” In alphabetical order: Shelby Brown, four years on Varsity Cheer (highlighted by her captaincy in 2013-2014); Football Falcons Joe Kuhlmann, Mikey Leonard and Brad Souva – their toughness to “play hurt” helped lead the Falcons to their first winning season since 2010; and Bridgette Sabanosh, who, as co-captain of Varsity Girls Soccer, was big in heart and effort. Proud am I to number them among my young friends.

And hats off to Coach Patty Egan and Falcon parent (Mrs.) Kim Williams for initiating the sorely needed “Rebuild the Nest” campaign, which will upgrade various CSHS athletic facilities.

Last, but by no means least, “Hail and Farewell” to my valued friend, Coach Rika Cuff, who is in the process of moving with her family to west Georgia. Her eight Spirit Line State Championships speak compellingly not only to a record that probably will never be equaled in Arizona high school athletics, but more importantly to her positive mentoring of many Lady Falcons. Truly, she is a remarkable coach and spirited lady! She will be greatly missed.

As my final encouragement to the Class of 2014, I hereby modify the last line of the Cactus Shadows Fight Song: “We are the finest Class in … all … the … land!” Wherever your futures lead, may you always strive to be your finest!

Have a great summer, everyone!

~ Pete Mohr

CSHS graduationGraduates speaking for Class of ’14 were (l-r) Stacy Stoddard (Salutatorian), Shelby Brown (Executive Board/Student Body President), Annalee Monroe (Valedictorian).  Flanking them are Student Council Advisors Allison Zilka (l) and Cameron Bender, two ladies tirelessly dedicated to promoting student activities and events.

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