Aravaipa Campus Commencement begins Friday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m.

EASTERN PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Fifteen students will receive 17 degrees and certificates on Fri., May 13, during the 2011 Central Arizona College Aravaipa Campus commencement ceremony.

The outdoor ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. on the Aravaipa Campus which is located at 80440 E. Aravaipa Rd. just off of Arizona State Highway 77 between Mammoth and Winkelman.

Pete Guzman, Pinal County native and a highly-respective educator in the county, will serve as the commencement speaker, while Amanda Hughes and Aracelli Castañeda have been chosen as the student speakers for the ceremony. Castañeda is an All-Arizona Academic Third Team recipient.

A 1969 graduate of Hayden High School, Guzman eventually earned his associate of arts degree in 1971 and his bachelor's of arts degree in 1973. He later earned his master's in education degree and his administration certificate from Northern Arizona University.

Guzman worked for the Hayden-Winkelman District as a teacher, coach, athletic director and principal. In 2001 he left the district to build the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology in Globe, Ariz., from the ground up. The C.V.I.T now has a membership of five local schools.

In 2002, Guzman was named the superintendent in the Superior Unified School District. Today, he is superintendent of two school districts and is the principal of the John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Superior Junior High School, and Superior High School.

In 2007, Guzman was selected by the Arizona School Boards Association to receive the All-Arizona Superintendents Award. This summer, he and his wife Roberta, will celebrate 39 years of marriage.

During the graduation ceremony, CAC students will don a variety of medallions, tassels, stoles and colors signifying their accomplishments in the classroom.

Some students will graduate with honors after posting a minimum grade point average of 3.5, while several students will earn both a degree and certificate.

Students gold stoles are members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, while students donning blue cords are members of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program.

Graduates wearing white tassels will receive associate of arts degrees, while gold tassels signify associate of science. Associate of business degree recipients sport drab tassels, associate of applied science students wear green, and those earning an associate of general studies degree don gray tassels. Students earning certificates have caps adorned with blue tassels.

Female graduates at the Aravaipa Campus outnumber male graduates 12-3, with the oldest graduate crossing the outdoor stage at the age of 49 and the youngest graduate being 21.

For the district, CAC will deliver 653 degrees and certificates to 616 students with 399 representing women. The oldest graduate is 71, while the youngest is just 17. Both students will graduate from at the Signal Peak Campus.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814