San Juan College High School Class of 2023

View of the Learning Commons Building with the San Juan College logo on the library windows.

San Juan College High School Class of 2023

The Class of 2023 will be the fourth graduating class of the San Juan College High School (SJCHS). The school was established in the fall of 2016 to give local students the opportunity to earn an associate degree from San Juan College for free, while concurrently receiving a high school diploma from Farmington Municipal Schools within a four-year timeframe.

A part of the mission of SJCHS is to equip students for success in higher education or the workforce, and grow them into contributing members of society. This year’s graduating class proves to be as successful as the ones before – of the 68 students graduating from SJCHS this year, approximately 46 students are graduating with an associate’s degree. Around 75 percent of the graduates will be continuing their education.

Here are a few graduates from the Class of 2023 who are being highlighted for their accomplishments.

Polina Jensen in white sweater smiling at cameraPolina Jelen is earning a Liberal Arts degree and a general education certificate. She plans to attend the University of New Mexico (UNM). Jelen is the 2023 Griffin Scholar, which is a teacher/staff nominated senior who exemplifies the “Griffin” characteristics of persistence, excellence, and grit.  “I’m extremely grateful to have been a part of San Juan College and San Juan College High School. Through the incredible opportunities and experiences both have provided, I feel stronger as a student and person. I would like to thank my family and friends for your encouragement, sacrifices, love, and support. I would also like to thank the incredible instructors and staff at San Juan College and San Juan College High School for your dedication and commitment to bettering the lives of the students. Finally, I would like to say congratulations to my fellow graduates! I wish you all the best as we graduate from San Juan College”.

Bria Cohen leaning against pillar smiling at cameraBria Cohen is earning a medical science degree and has been admitted to the University of New Mexico Combined BA/MD Degree program. The BA/MD program allows students to earn a baccalaureate degree and then transition into medical school. Cohen is receiving a full scholarship to UNM for four years and has a guaranteed spot at UNM School of Medicine. She is also the National Honor Society President. “I chose to come to San Juan College High School because I wanted a challenge. I wanted to be in an environment where I was going to be pushed while receiving a good education. One day I hope to become a doctor, and SJC and SJCHS have given me resources to help me get there. Study groups for physics taught me that it is okay to ask for help. Trust me, spending four hours every Sunday working on physics problems is not fun. But we all pushed each other to learn, understand, and succeed. I am eager to attend the UNM Combined BA/MD degree program where I will use the lessons I learned at SJC to succeed!”

Talon Sheek leaning against his white truck in a dirt area with large rocks in backgroundTalon Sheek is graduating with two associate of applied science degrees Diesel Off-highway and Diesel On-highway as well as a certificate in Diesel Mechanic Heavy Line. Sheek won 2nd place at the Skills USA competition in Albuquerque in April. He has accepted a full-time job with Caterpillar after graduation. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. — Proverbs 21:2 KJV. I would like to give a little advice. Whether you are taking classes online or in person, procrastinating on assignments makes finding the motivation to get those assignments done in the future exponentially harder. It is easier to get them done before they are due. Do the hard work even when you don’t feel like it.”

Emiliano Baca with a person's arm around his shoulder smiling at cameraEmiliano Baca is earning an associate of applied science degree in Diesel Off-highway, an associate degree in applied science Diesel On-highway and a certificate in Diesel Mechanic Heavy Line. Baca will be working full-time at his dad’s trucking company after graduation. “My experience at SJC has been amazing. When I first started, I was nervous but excited to learn more about diesel engines. My favorite class was engine overhaul because I learned how to tear an engine apart and rebuild it. When that engine first started after the rebuild, it was an incredible feeling. Since I have been here, I have made many new friends who share the same interest in engines. I appreciate my parents encouraging me to come to SJCHS.”