AURORA, CO. (KDVR) — Students at Eaglecrest High School are making an emotional plea to have the names of two deceased students named during graduation ceremonies.
They have been told that is not going to happen, but now there is a major push to convince the district to honor the two boys.
The students are saying they aren’t backing down.
Jayden Alvarado and Ryan Nowlan were good friends since kindergarten. The lives of the two 17-year-olds were cut short when they were both seniors at Eaglecrest High School in Aurora.
They were killed in a car accident in October of last year, just months before they were set to graduate.
The students were devastated.
“They would always make people smile. Everybody knew them and even when you didn’t, it was like, Ryan, when he walked into a room the energy automatically changed. He was always so positive about everything,” Eaglecrest High School Student Brooklyn Muniz said.
Students said they were heartbroken when they heard Alvarado’s and Nowlan’s names would not be mentioned during graduation ceremonies.
“I believe that just because we haven’t done it before does not mean that we can’t do it now,” Eaglecrest High School Student Virginia Theriot said.
Other Eaglecrest students and teachers have died this school year. But it is Alvarado and Nowlan who are the focus of a petition thousands of people are signing to have the students’ names mentioned during graduation.
Alvarado’s mother was heartbroken when she was told that would not happen. She was told by the district their names would be mentioned in a private ceremony for the families.
“I said that’s not what I want. I said I can do a private ceremony on my own,” Jayden Alvarado’s mother Mandee McLane-Alvarado. “I told her this is a punch in the gut again. I told her you are re-victimizing it again,” said McLane-Alvarado
Cherry Creek Schools responded to those wanting the students’ names to be mentioned.
“The Executive Director of High Schools Julie Jaeger did respond to that letter on the Superintendents behalf,” Cherry Creek Spokesperson Lauren Snell said.
That statement sent to FOX31 said:
While we continue to mourn the loss of each and every student during a school year, it is Cherry Creek School District’s practice to not recognize deceased students or staff at graduation ceremonies. Eaglecrest has offered and will continue to work with the families of the two seniors to provide a personal venue to honor their time at Eaglecrest and within CCSD.Cherry Creek Schools spokesperson
Still, students say they’ll keep fighting for Alvarado and Nowlan’s names to be read.