Photo Credit: Jerod Perez

Congratulations to Clarke Community School’s Class of 2019!

Senior Awards Night

Senior Awards Night was held on Wednesday, May 15th at 7:00 p.m. in the Clarke School auditorium. Scholarships and awards were presented from various organizations, businesses, and post-secondary institutions. Shirley Diercks, representing Clarke Community Dollars for Scholars, presented 21 scholarships of $500 each. Throughout the evening, $75,000 in local scholarship money was awarded. The total scholarship amount is expected to top $500,000 once the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship is announced later this spring. Additional highlights are below; a complete list may be viewed here.

Noteworthy Scholarships-$7,500

National Merit Scholar Finalist ($2500)- Samuel Reynoldson

Better Business Bureau Student of Integrity ($2500)- Diana Sagastizado

Iowa Automobile Dealers Foundation ($2500)- Sergio Sandoval

FFA Scholarships- $12,000+

Mark Pearson FFA Leadership Scholarship (full-tuition to DMACC)- Sydney Garrett

College and University Scholarships-  $335,000+

Drake University ($23,000/yr)- George Hicks

Iowa State University (half-tuition)- Riley Domina and Nathan Manternach

Graceland University ($23,750)- Colby Wilken

Several awards were presented also during the two-hour program. Four students earned the distinguished Silver Cord Award for having accumulated at least 200 service hours since completing 8th grade. They were presented with silver cords that were worn during the graduation ceremony. Those students were Alena Allen, Samuel Reynoldson, Erin Silzer, and Victoria Swartz. Nine students were recognized as Donors of Distinction for their blood donations. They were presented with red cords that were worn during the graduation ceremony. Those students were Adriana Benitez, Cady Crawford, Reese Fancher, Madyson Hill, Audrey Kindred, Marshall Morrison, Paige Rebertus, Diana Sagastizado, and Micaela Swanson.

Additional Award Highlights

Governor’s Scholar Recognition Program- Samuel Reynoldson

American Citizenship Award- Diana Sagastizado

U.S. Marine Corp Awards

Scholastic Excellence- Alexander Arman

Semper Fidelis- Susana Camacho-Preciado

Bernie Saggau Award- Riley Domina

E. Wayne Cooley Award- Megan Linskens

Last Day of School

Seniors celebrated their last day of school on Friday, May 17th. The day began at 8:15 with a special senior breakfast. Graduation practice followed at 9:00 and a class photo taken by Chris’ Photography followed at 10:00. Then, seniors boarded school buses to head to Clarke Elementary for the fourth annual senior walk.

The Class of 2019 was greeted by hundreds of smiling students lining the sidewalks and halls of Clarke Elementary. At the end of the walk, the seniors met the Class of 2031 (kindergarten) and a photo was taken. Mrs. Morgan, elementary school counselor, also congratulated seniors and returned to them their elementary career packets. Finally, the Class returned to Clarke Middle/High School for one last tour through the halls. In each building, “Pomp and Circumstance” played over the loudspeaker system during the walk throughs.


Graduation was celebrated on Sunday, May 19th at 2:00 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. Ninety-three students received a diploma during the 60-minute ceremony. A list of graduates may be viewed here. The graduation ceremony video is available on The Clarke Community Schools’ Facebook page.

Samuel Reynoldson was the class valedictorian. He gave a thoughtful speech that was both serious and humorous at times. He challenged his classmates to go forward and solve problems. For the first time in remembered history, there was a tie for the salutatorian honor. Both Emily Barajas and Megan Linskens received the award on stage. Other graduation student speakers included Susana Camacho-Preciado, Riley Domina, and Colby Wilken. The program may be viewed here.  

Post-Secondary Plans

Each graduate has exciting post-secondary plans: 33 students will attend a two-year, vocational, or training school; 22 students will attend a four-year school; 20 students will join the workforce; four students will enlist in the military (see below); and 14 students are undecided where or if they will pursue post-secondary training. Please view the Class of 2019: Future Plans slideshow for more information.

US Army (Intelligence Analyst)- Susana Camacho-Preciado

US Navy (Aircrew Survival Equipmentman)- Madyson Hill

US Army (Infantryman)- Adrian Kelso

US Army (Healthcare Specialist)- Aaron Lopez

Final Words

The Class of 2019 didn’t leave the halls of Clarke High School without making their mark. They left behind business cards printed with the words, “There are 500 of these hidden around the school. Good luck getting rid of us.” Check it out here.

To the Class of 2019, we say to you: Your dreams are not too big, too silly, nor too unrealistic. You are our future. Dare to dream BIG and rise up! #WeRise #Classof2019