For DHS grads, the final assembly

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald 
Tig Moore, center, receives a stole signifying a 4.0 or higher grade point average from registrar Trudy Colford before the Durango High School graduation ceremony Friday evening. In back are Melanie Hamilton, left, and Katy Schneider, right. Tig is the daughter of Scott and Ayla Moore, Melanie is the daughter of Bentley and Brenda Hamilton, and Katy is the daughter of Jim and Lynn Schneider. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald Tig Moore, center, receives a stole signifying a 4.0 or higher grade point average from registrar Trudy Colford before the Durango High School graduation ceremony Friday evening. In back are Melanie Hamilton, left, and Katy Schneider, right. Tig is the daughter of Scott and Ayla Moore, Melanie is the daughter of Bentley and Brenda Hamilton, and Katy is the daughter of Jim and Lynn Schneider.

Durango High School’s 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.

“It’s bittersweet; I’m joining the Army,” he said.

Oh Schuyler said she was headed to California to enter culinary school.

“I’m very excited,” she said.

Derek Mason, who was wearing formal attire while skateboarding in the DHS parking lot, said “I don’t think it’s hit me yet.”

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - "Just hanging out before graduation," explained senior Derek Mason, shown here in the parking lot of Durango High School on Friday evening. Derek is the son of Tim and Martha Mason. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - "Just hanging out before graduation," explained senior Derek Mason, shown here in the parking lot of Durango High School on Friday evening. Derek is the son of Tim and Martha Mason.

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - "It just doesn't feel real," said senior Jennie Fischer, daughter of Mike and Jill Fischer, before Durango High School's graduation ceremony on Friday evening at the school. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - "It just doesn't feel real," said senior Jennie Fischer, daughter of Mike and Jill Fischer, before Durango High School's graduation ceremony on Friday evening at the school.

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - Durango High School science teacher Eric Jackson sends the seniors off to their graduation ceremony on Friday evening at the school. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - Durango High School science teacher Eric Jackson sends the seniors off to their graduation ceremony on Friday evening at the school.