Not only was there a great crowd and perfect weather, there was plenty of local pride. The streets were lined with signs, ribbons, confetti, and the flash of smart phones. Everywhere you looked, people cheered.
That was the scene today during the Parade of Champions, an event organized by the Central Consolidated School District (CCSD) to honor this year's competing scholars and athletes, and their success in local and state competitions.
The floats represented many events, ranging from science fairs to state basketball tournaments.
Students worked on projects that included applying the laws of physics to driving safely, exploring soil pollution and safe drinking water to the State Leadership Conference. CCSD students won big, and most importantly, they represented the district with great class.
“This celebration is inspiring for our students, because we look to build our self-esteem by performing strongly in academics and sports, not just in one area. This event brings this community together, making us stronger,” said Tanya Harvey, a 3rd grade teacher at Eva B. Stokely Elementary School.
A crowd of over 500 greeted students and school staff, as well as members of the local fire department and the community, as they made their trek towards the Shiprock Chapter House. A CCSD security vehicle was also part of the celebration, and carried a sign in memory of fallen Navajo Police Officer Houston James Largo.
The parade kicked off at 10 a.m. in front of Shiprock High School, as onlookers applauded the busses and student-decorated floats. Cars and trucks honked their horns, and waved. Justin Timberlake and OutKast were part of the soundtrack during some of the trip. And candy, there was candy for everyone.
The Shiprock High School’s Lady Chieftains, who just last Friday played their hearts out to win the 4A finals, were present in a float decorated with ribbons in school colors. The state champions saluted the crowd, raised their trophy high and gave candy away.
“I think this gathering is a positive atmosphere for our team. This represents support for us and it could motivate other kids to experience what we have,” said Tanisha Begay, senior at Shiprock High School and Lady Chieftains player.
“This celebration is but a small demonstration of the great affection and admiration this community has for our students and dedicated staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Colleen W. Bowman. “They are simply incredible, and deserve to be recognized for everything they do. That’s why this parade needed to happen,” she concluded.
The parade wrapped up at the Shiprock Chapter House at 11:15 a.m.
Celebrations to continue
The Newcomb Community will have two celebrations also honoring student’s achievements. First, there will be a recognition assembly on Friday, March 17, starting at 1:30 p.m., at the Newcomb High School Skyhawk Gymnasium. The second celebration will take place on Thursday, March 30. More information will be posted on the Central Consolidated School District Website and Facebook page.