By Maddy Houk
Sacred Heart Catholic School graduated 19 eighth-graders during a special Mass celebrated at the church on Thursday, May 22.
The students are: Savannah De Hoyos, Lehua DeLeon, Antonio Dixon, Roberto Estrada, Sylvia Magner, Kaitlyn Marci, Ben Maring, Anwar Mustafa, Michelle Nunez, Manuel Ornelas, Trevor Pedron, Angelo Raffo, Alexsondra Rodriguez, Cole Romero, Justin Selander, Janna Sill, Tatianna Tafoya, Thies Thoming and Sarah Vlha.
Jason Oliveira, principal at the school, said the class members are special.
“Like many of our other classes this group is one of integrity and character,” Oliveira said. “They showed a lot of perseverance over the years and learned from some of their mistakes along the way. That’s a true-life lesson. Of course, they will be greatly missed.”
Thirteen of the students attended Sacred Heart School beginning in kindergarten: Lehua DeLeon, Antonio Dixon, Roberto Estrada, Kaitlyn Marci, Ben Maring, Trevor Pedron, Alexsondra Rodriguez, Cole Romero, Justin Selander, Janna Sill, Tatianna Tafoya, Thies Thoming and Sarah Vlha.
Trevor Pedron earned the Third Semester Perfect attendance award and the Perfect Attendance for the Year award. Trevor has not missed a day of school since starting fifth grade, and only missed seven days of school between kindergarten and fourth grade.
Other awards are:
Principal’s honor roll 4.0 GPA: Anwar Mustafa, Trevor Pedron and Cole Romero
First Honors, 3.6 to 3.9 GPA: Lahua DeLeon, Michelle Nunez and Janna Sill
Growth Awards plaques were awarded to:
Tatianna Tafoya — Personal Growth Award
Michelle Nunez — Academic Growth Award
Trevor Pedron — Academic Excellence Award
Lehua DeLeon — Christian Witness Award
Thies Thoming — Christian Witness Award
Janna Sill received the Patterson Recognizing Individuals Determined to Excel (PRIDE) scholarship.
Sarah Vlha received the Knights of Columbus Award.
An Award of Excellence in Reading was presented to Anwar Mustafa, Trevor Pedron and Janna Sill.
Christian Citizenship awards were also presented to Manuel Ornelas and Sarah Vlha.
Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Walnut Grove
By Brooke Borba
Sixty-six graduates of Walnut Grove K-8 School also celebrated their own commencement ceremony in their respective gymnasium the following week on Wednesday evening, May 28.
Streamers, balloons and a large slideshow of the eighth-grade class set the tone for the evening’s proceedings. Once the graduates walked down a single filed line towards their respective chairs to “Pomp and Circumstance,” parents were brimming with pride, as was Principal Alma Romo.
“This year has been wonderful,” recalled Romo. “I’m proud of our students for all their hard work. The last few years being their principal has been very rewarding.”
Romo spoke highly of all their students and their ability to adapt to Common Core standards, and technological and cultural growth.
The ceremony, conducted in both English and Spanish, began with a short introduction and Pledge of Allegiance by Hanna Albrigo and Melanie Hernandez, followed by the National Anthem performed by Walnut Grove third-grader Eliana Cortes.
After a short lead in by ASB president Sarah Gonzalez, Amy Hussar, Commander of the Elijah B. Hayes American Legion Post No. 168, presented the American Legion School Award Medal to graduate Hannah Albrigo.
A nod towards academic excellence was also made towards Ushuaya Castillo and Jacqueline Markham, who gave a short speech after being recognized as the top scholars of their class. Ushuaya warned his classmates about the challenges they have yet to face in high school, while Markham thanked her family for their support and her friends for “keeping (her) sane.”
Students who also garnered success by attaining the California Junior Scholarship Federation Honor Graduate award include Albrigo, Monica Barajas, Castillo, Gina Franco, Sarah Gonzalez, Princess Guzman, Melanie Elisa Hernandez, Jenica Herrera, Marisol Jimenez, Diana Llamas Avalos, Markham, Victoria Andrea Vasquez, Marcos Villasenor and Andrea Zepeda.
Once the scholars had their say, Principal Romo thanked everyone for their contribution to the school, and even shared with the graduates some insight into her own life. Romo told the students that, as a child, she didn’t realize her own potential until she moved between schools, and overheard her principal telling her parents that she was a smart and hardworking girl.
She became excited that someone had depicted her in that light, and sought to prove to herself further in her studies. She hoped to pass on the knowledge to her own students, stating, “Never compromise the integrity of your own mind and your own spirit. Make and plan and always strive to achieve excellence.”
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 31, or email@example.com. Creekside Middle School
By Randy Sawyer
It was a beautiful evening as commencement began for the graduating class of 2014 at Creekside Middle School, where graduates took the field at Patterson Community Stadium on Wednesday, May 28. The heat wave had passed and there was no sign of the rain that had come down three years ago on the event.
The parents, family and friends were all filing into the stadium for the night’s graduation. There was only standing room as the class of over 400 students took the field. It was one of the largest classes ever to graduate from Creekside school, which consequently left many parents and graduate attendees without a seat.
Regardless, necks craned to catch a glimpse of the graduates, and spirits were high.
Principal Kerry McWilliams stated that the school year went very well, and, of course, very quickly. He gave special thanks to the group of students that help him so much each year. Specifically, Xandra Carter, Tiffany Do, Hailey Hansen, Juan Carlos Lomeli, Ifeayin Ogbuli and Aidan Strope were honored as the top students who’ve earned 4.0 grade-point averages.
McWilliams was proud of his students and said in his speech, “It was a year when we all joined in to hold the rope for each other, and was always there for each other throughout the school year.”
The year also marked a large number of activities that the class actively led, such as the Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco Club initiative and participating in the First Lego League Robotics Competition and National History Day. The school’s Associated Student Body officers and members of WEB class helped create positive connections among all students through the Anti-Bullying assembly and the “Little Buddies” program.
Students were asked to take their teachings with them as they joined their future freshmen class.
As their time together in middle school came to an end, several students made each other a promise to stay in touch throughout the summer before they prepare to continue their education in high school.
Randy Sawyer is a temporary writer for the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at RandySaw1@gvni.com.