Family and friends descended on the ceremony and packed Patterson Community Stadium on the warm summer evening. Air horns, plastic bugles and all sorts of noisemakers rang out when many of the graduates’ names were called.
As the speaker announced the final students, hundreds of people gathered on the stadium’s turf, waiting to congratulate their graduates When the final name was read, a swarm of people mobbed the field in celebration.
In this year’s class, 186 graduates — or about 63 percent — intend to continue going to school, according to the high school’s counseling department. About 75 students will be attending four-year universities. California State University, Stanislaus, is the four-year institution with the most incoming Patterson High graduates, with 30.
About 100 students plan on going to a two-year school, with about 84 planning to go to Modesto Junior College.
This year’s class earned more than $1 million in scholarships, setting a new record, Patterson High principal Dave Stubbs said during his speech.
Not all the students that where scheduled to graduate in 2009 managed to get their diplomas. About 7 percent of students missed the four-year mark, said Hugh Leonard, the high school’s senior councilor.
Most of those students will graduate after summer school, Leonard said.