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262 seniors depart CHS
It was a joyous time for everyone as more than 4,000 family members and friends attended Ceres High School's graduation on Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

Approximately 262 seniors turned their tassels and tossed their caps into the air to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

Valedictorian Robert Mata, who's headed to Stanford University on a full-ride scholarship, talked about the past, present and future during his address.

"Graduation is an experience," said Mata. "It gives us a piece of paper, a diploma, that tells the world that we don't give up. Our diplomas give testimony to the early mornings we got up for school and the late nights probably spent finishing a project due the next day. It will remind us of 13 years of triumphs, struggles, friendships, relationships, of laughter and sorrow, and of pain and healing ... When we leave this stadium, we won't be cooped up any more. Our class will be scattered among the state and country, from the far off reaches of North Dakota and Iowa, to the coastal cities of Long Beach and San Francisco. Even farther down the road, members of our class aspire to produce films in Hollywood, sit on the Supreme Court in Washington D.C., dig for fossils in Greece, and play soccer and football for national teams. These are all, very serious, but very different dreams that reflect the wide array of talent and personality in our class. I ask that all of you remember each other for what each of us did and what we all want to do, because with the amount of passion that our class has already displayed through our endless personal endeavors, phenomenal club and sports records, and earsplitting shouting at the dozens of rallies, these dreams of ours will come true. Like high school, it won't always be easy, and at times it may not be fun, but we'll have our parents, past mentors, and each other for support to guide us through it to the very end. And that's why we are the class of 2010.

Jack Parnoutsoukian and Wilson Liang, Ceres High's salutatorians, praised their classmates. They also talked about each other's personal lives. Both are determined to make a difference in this world.

"Jack grew up around automobiles and attends Jack's Automotive every Friday to learn the tricks of the trade, but he never had plans for the future until physics came into the picture," Wilson said. "Armed with knowledge from his childhood and equipped with the passion for physics, he hopes to revolutionize transportation to suit the tough conditions we are facing today, such as the inevitable depletion of fossil fuel and the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Jack hopes to be a piece of a very large futuristic puzzle. "

"Being immigrants, Wilson's parents introduced math into his life at a very young age, hoping to eliminate struggles within an education system consisting of an entirely different culture and language than their own," noted Parnoutsoukian. "They were successful, but speaking in public remained a formidable barrier until two years ago, a change which he attributes to the Science club. With these subjects playing such a major part of his life, he plans to explore the conceptual world of math and science in the next few years and perhaps, one day, benefit society with an innovating scientific discovery."

First-year principal Linda Stubbs provided words of inspiration during her farewell speech.

"Ceres High School has prepared you well and you are ready to embark on your next leg of the journey," said Stubbs. "Your class motto is in the program. It reads: each of us has different talents, different dreams, different destinations. But we all have the power to make a new tomorrow. I urge you to use your talents to follow your dreams so that you will arrive at your desired destinations."

Ceres School Board members Betty Davis, Eric Ingwerson, Jim Kinard, Faye Lane, Lourdes Perez, Mike Welsh and Valli Wigt attended Ceres High School's graduation. They passed out diplomas and shook hands.

Retiring Ceres Unified School District Superintendent Walt Hanline also assisted.