A metamorphosis occurred Friday evening when 13 Manzanola High School students entered the gym and a short while later emerged as adults.

Receiving diplomas at the Class of 2019 commencement ceremony were Dustin Wolf Carroll - Gold Cord Valedictorian, Emily Horn - Silver Cord Salutatorian, Shane Lee Leiweke, Dominic Caine Martinez, McKayla Renee Matthews, Julianna Juanita Morales-Reyes, Eithin John Packer, Eric Jason Packer, Cheyanne Breeze Parker, Karime Aline Prieto, Santiano Robert Sandoval, Selene Santana and Aaron Michael Sotelo.

District superintendent Tom Wilke welcomed all of the attendees with an announcement that the school has been approved to receive a grant to build a new school, without a tax increase.

Dr. Roberto Padilla, Manzanola alumni and the occasion's guest speaker, shared his story of growing up in Manzanola and his great success in the fields of mathematics and chemistry. He encouraged the graduates to work hard and to use what they’ve learned up to this point as their foundation.

Colorado Sen. Larry Crowder, also a Manzanola alumni, encouraged the graduates to seek to make a difference wherever life takes them, but to never forget their roots.

Congratulations to all the graduates.