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CV High hands out diplomas
Erica Zhu and Malika Shoker
Erica Zhu and Malika Shoker took time for a selfie during Friday evening’s graduation ceremony. Both students were salutatorians along with 10 others. - photo by Dale Butler

All eyes were focused on the stage at Central Valley High School’s amphitheater on June 1.

Ceres School Board members passed out diplomas to the 341 graduates of the class of 2018 last Friday.

Principal Carol Lubinsky greeted her outgoing students with handshakes and hugs before the flipping of tassels marked the end of a long journey.

“It’s 13 years of hard work and commitment that began with your first day of school in kindergarten."
CVHS Principal Carol Lubinsky

“You should celebrate this accomplishment for what it is,” Lubinsky said. “It’s 13 years of hard work and commitment that began with your first day of school in kindergarten. You leave with a variety of dreams and goals, and I encourage you to follow through to accomplish your goals in order to fulfill your dreams. Your dreams may change but please remember that it is one thing to change your dreams, and it is entirely different to give up on a dream because it is too much work. You will never regret the effort you put into making a dream come true.”

Bryan Perez
Central Valley High School valedictorian Bryan Perez addresses the graduation audience. - photo by Dale Butler

Valedictorian Bryan Perez talked about the challenges of high school before turning his attention to the future.

“Now is our time to venture into the next stage of our lives,” said Perez, who will continue his education at Princeton. “For some, that means college. Others will serve our country through some branch of military. Others will enter directly into the workforce. Regardless of which path we choose, it is up to us to achieve greatness. It is up to us to learn from the inevitable failures and mistakes we will face rather than give up. From the bottom of my heart, I truly wish that each and every single one of you, my peers, will be happy in life and have no regrets.”

Perez, senior class president Leilani Ortiz and senior address speaker Brenda Diaz also expressed gratitude to their parents, families and friends. 

They praised Central Valley’s teachers and staff as well.

“Personally, it is difficult to even try to imagine how much my parents have sacrificed and labored for me to be in my current position,” Perez said. “I simply have no words except I love you.”

“Thank you mom and dad for all the packed lunches, 6 a.m. car rides whether they be to swim or school, stress relieving weekend trips to the beach, constant reassurance that my hard work and long nights of studying will pay off, and much more,” Ortiz said. 

“A huge thank you to all of our teachers,” Leilani added. “You have played such a vital role in our growth as both individuals and students. Despite all the homework we were not too fond of, your guidance and words of wisdom were all greatly appreciated and will continue to be taken into account throughout our lives.”

“We appreciate each and every one of you for having an impact in our life,” Diaz said.

Approximately 83 percent of Central Valley High’s graduating class plan to attend a four-year university, a junior college or a trade school. Eight percent will join the workforce. Four percent will enlist in the military.

“When people find out that I am a high school principal, the first question they ask me is, ‘What is wrong with today’s youth?’ I can answer confidently that based on my experiences with the Central Valley High School class of 2018, there is nothing wrong with today’s youth,” Lubinsky said. “Today’s youth are confident and will persevere through tasks until they get the job done. Class of 2018, I will certainly miss you, as you are definitely my favorite senior class ever. I wish you the very best as you move onto the next stages of your life, and may God bless you on every step of your life’s journey.”

CVHS grads
Central Valley High School graduates and salutatorians Ashley Espinoza, Hector Herrera, Angel Arellano and Aaron Vander Wal march into the school amphitheatre to graduate. A total og 12 seniors shared valedictorian honors. - photo by Dale Butler