Local high schools celebrate commencement ceremonies
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
May 31, 2013 | 4021 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Isabell Cantu gives a victory fist pump as she makes her way to the podium at Del Puerto High School’s 22nd Commencement Ceremony Thursday evening.—Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
Isabell Cantu gives a victory fist pump as she makes her way to the podium at Del Puerto High School’s 22nd Commencement Ceremony Thursday evening.—Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
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Valedictorian Edward Hidalgo stands before a sea of Tigers and onlookers as Principal Stubbs calls his name at the Patterson Community Stadium Thursday evening. –Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
Valedictorian Edward Hidalgo stands before a sea of Tigers and onlookers as Principal Stubbs calls his name at the Patterson Community Stadium Thursday evening. –Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
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Thursday evening marked the first of many milestones for local graduates of Patterson and Del Puerto high schools. Nearly 400 students graced the stage to receive their diploma, each with a bright outlook for their future.

“I’m nervous, but it’s the way of life,” Del Puerto graduate Gustavo Ortiz said. “I’m ready to get what is coming to me.”

The atmosphere at Del Puerto was heavy with excitement, as parents flooded the stands, eager to show their affection and support for local graduates.

“This is a very emotional time,” said resource specialist Jayme Gray of Del Puerto High. “We are all just one big happy family, and the parents are amazing. Everyone is so excited.”

Del Puerto's ceremony, held in the Creekside Middle School gymnasium, featured a slideshow with life lessons from staff, and included talks from student speakers Cheyenne Timoteo and Theresa Tuitupou. Trevor Allen Clark was named class valedictorian, while Timoteo was honored as salutatorian.

Del Puerto Principal Tonya Bibbins ended the school's ceremony with a famous quote from a voice of her generation: Jon Bon Jovi.

“The road ahead is as long as you make it,” Bibbins said. “Make it worth the trip. Congratulations Class of 2013!”

PHS had its commencement celebration at Patterson Community Stadium, where attendees packed the stands. The ceremony honored 17 valedictorians, including student speakers Jennifer Camberos and student body president Lindsay Brooks.

“High school was fun, but hard,” admitted Brooks before the ceremony. “I worked hard to get where I am."

She said she was thankful for support from her sister and her parents.

Both the Patterson and Del Puerto ceremonies highlighted student achievements, while reminding newfound graduates to continue striving for opportunities. PHS Principal Dave Stubbs asked graduates to continue thinking and asking questions and to engage in healthy debates as adults.

Attendees also shed tears as they solemnly commemorated a fallen classmate. In 2010, Andrew Anderson was killed in a car crash along with his parents, James and Emma Anderson. The only survivor was Andrew’s brother, James “Jimmy” Anderson, who lives in Wisconsin. The stadium fell quiet and respectfully honored the family’s memory after a heartfelt speech from Stubbs, who keeps a picture of Anderson in his office. Balloons were released in an empty chair as a memorial testament.

Three retiring instructors — English and Advancement Via Individual Determination teacher Kit Chaney, mathematics instructor Brent Jacinto and Migrant Education Supervisor Bernie Rangel — were all honored with plaques for their years of service to PHS.

After the ceremony, parents and spectators, including Chaney, swept the grounds to offer their congratulations.

“I can’t be more enthusiastic,” Chaney said. “I can’t be more proud of the AVID class of 2013. I’m going to miss them so much.”

Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24 or brooke@pattersonirrigator.com.
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