ROBSTOWN — It was a heartfelt evening filled with plenty of gratitude, and when it was over, the Robstown Early College High School's Class of 2017 celebrated their graduation at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds Central Pavilion Arena.

Robstown class president Victoria Schmidt addressed her class and reminded them that the work of teachers was the reason the group was graduating Friday night.

"Through our period of time together, you realized our teachers have raised us to be better citizens of the world," Schmidt said. "And I say the term raise verses taught because we've truly become like your own children in the process. Some of us see you more than we do our own parents and we see you as role models. Our educators are the primary reason that we are here today." 

School principal Sylvia I. Romero credited parents and guardians for helping students realize their dreams.

"Mom and dad... your love, guidance and constant support can not be overstated," she said. "You are one of the reasons why your son or your daughter is receiving a diploma tonight.

Among those honored before commencement ceremonies were valedictorian Alyssa Lynn Olivarez, the daughter of Ricardo Olivarez and Anita Naranjo, and Salutatorian Mathew Hernandez, the son of Basilio and Elizabeth Hernandez.

The rest of Robstown's honor graduates included Summa Cum Laude Claudia Maria Chapa, Serena Chavera, Kayla Saige Espinoza, David Ramirez, Jr. Cindy Sanchez and Kayla Celeste Trigo. Magna Cum Laude graduate were Alren Izdarely Cepeda, Lauren Alexis Lascano, Steve Covarrubias, Jr., Nicholas Ezri Mireles, Lorissa Ludia Enriquez, Klarissa Delene Ortiz, RaeAnn Escobar, Alvaro Xavier Pena IV, Cristobal Garza III, Stephanie Sanchez, Lisamarie Danielle Garza, Victoria Kiara Schmidt, Eric Matthew Gutierrez, Kaylan Naomi Vaiz, Corina Lexine Vasquez. Cum Laude graduates were Melody Bianca Diaz, Ashley Garza, Alexia Garza and DesRae Michelle Zamora.

Honorary diploma recipients were the Class of 1968's Enrique E. Caballero and the Class of 1967's Amador Y. Duran. Both men left school to enlist in the Army and fought in Vietnam. The Class of 1949's Albino S. Pena, a Marine who was in Korea in 1950.