Northwest Early College High School celebrates the Class of 2024
Griffin Grads
Posted on 05/17/2024
This is the image for the news article titled Griffin GradsThis evening at the heart of McKelligon Canyon amongst a backdrop of stars and majestic desert scenery, 89 Northwest Early College High School graduates walked across the stage to accept their high-school diplomas, marking a significant milestone for the Class of 2024.

This cohort of students, who began their high school journey amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, faced the unique experience of starting their freshman year entirely through remote learning.

Each one of the newly-minted graduates embarked on their high school journey from their bedrooms, kitchen tables and makeshift home classrooms with Zoom calls and virtual study sessions replacing the energy of bustling classrooms.

Despite the physical distance, these students forged bonds through screens and developed a unique sense of unity and perseverance that led them to this day. The Class of 2024 distinguished themselves not only through resilience but also academic excellence, making history by achieving the highest scholarship earnings in the school’s history, a testament to their hard work, determination and the support of their educators and families.

Collectively the class earned $20.3 million in scholarships. Their achievements highlight a remarkable journey of overcoming obstacles and striving for success in the face of adversity.

“We are very proud of this group of graduates,” Principal Frank Clark said. “They had a challenging start having begun their high school careers navigating uncharted territory but they made the most of it and emerged stronger, more determined and more united than ever.
Some incredible achievements have defined the Class of 2024 and I look forward to what their futures hold.”

Paris Gastelum, ValedictorianFor NWECHS Class of 2024 valedictorian Paris Gastelum, her journey as a proud Griffin has taught her the importance of hard work and perseverance. She will be attending The University of Texas at El Paso to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science and start the path to becoming a pediatrician.

“Throughout my four years of high school, I was involved in a variety of clubs and activities … I juggled my various activities while also working to obtain my associate’s degree and high school diploma,” Gastelum said. “Although it wasn’t easy, my journey as a Griffin taught me to never give up, despite any challenges or obstacles that may come my way. It taught me to work to be the best version of myself, so that I can use my knowledge, skills, and values to change the world for the better.”

Leah NoveloLeah Novelo, class salutatorian, is looking forward to the next chapter of her academic pursuits. She will be attending the New Mexico State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology. A venture she feels her experience at NWECHS has well prepared her for.
“Being a Griffin for the past four years has prepared me the most for transitioning from high school to university and the academic challenges that come with that,” Novelo said. “Overtime I’ve grown more familiar and comfortable with the structure and procedures of college systems and rigorous classes.”

As they move forward, these graduates carry with them the lessons of adaptability and perseverance, ready to take on future endeavors with the same spirit that defined their high school experience. The accomplishments of the Northwest Early College High School Class of 2024 serve as an inspiring example of what can be achieved through dedication and resilience, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Congratulations and best of luck, Griffins!