Belen

U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who was the keynote speaker at the Infinity High School graduation ceremony on Tuesday night, praised the graduates for their accomplishments.

Infinity High School in Belen was founded two years ago as an alternative and challenging setting for students to complete their high school education. During Tuesday’s ceremony, 17 seniors received their high school diplomas.

“This school is only in its second year, but it’s already a very fine example of how a smaller school, with smaller classrooms, with teachers who understand the needs of each student, can lead to academic success,” Bingaman said. “I applaud all those partners who have worked hard and (are) dedicated to making this school the success it obviously is.

“You need to be proud of what you’ve accomplished here today,” Bingaman told the graduates. “The parents also deserve great recognition for the support and encouragement that they’ve provided to these students.”

Bingaman also applauded the students for not being among the 6,000 New Mexico students who dropped out of school. He said the students of the graduating class of 2002 made the right decision, with the help of their parents and the innovative programs of Infinity High School, to stay in school.

“The paths that they are beginning on are not a straight course,” he said. “There is very little certainty in the world that they are entering. If you look at what’s happened in the past couple of years, you can see the tremendous uncertainly that we all live with in this world.”

Bingaman said that uncertainty and the unpredictable nature of life are permanent conditions. But those conditions should be embraced because they allow each person to continue to learn and take in new ideas.

“Life is a process of discovery, and each new bit of knowledge found should leave you searching for another. Life should be a series of decisions that take you through open doors, leading you to the unknown,” Bingaman told the graduates. “You don’t have to live your life simply accepting what is true today will be true the next day, or the day after that.”

Bingaman advised the graduates to question the phenomena of the physical world and to learn to question the world of ideas the ideas of others and, especially, their own ideas about politics, art, people and life.

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Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.