Durango High Schools graduation ceremony Friday evening was an exquisite tableau of youthful exuberance and adult pride, with a faint hint of teenage melancholy, as nearly 270 graduating seniors gathered their diplomas before bleachers packed with loved ones.
Ahead of the outdoor ceremony, families spread out handmade quilts, food and bouquets on bleachers overlooking the football field, while inside, seniors nervously adjusted their red caps, some giggling in large groups, others alone and pensive.
After Principal Diane Lashinsky welcomed the Class of 2012, former Durango City Councilor Michael Rendon delivered the commencement address.
Some of the red caps were bejeweled with diamanté, others emblazoned with messages.
Denzel Neal said he was delighted to graduate, but would miss his friends and family.
Its bittersweet; Im joining the Army, he said.
Oh Schuyler said she was headed to California to enter culinary school.
Im very excited, she said.
Derek Mason, who was wearing formal attire while skateboarding in the DHS parking lot, said I dont think its hit me yet.