Four years of hard work ended for 344 seniors at Central Valley High School in nearly triple-digit temperatures that caused them to sizzle beneath their graduation gowns Friday evening. Some seniors put their diplomas to work right away as they fanned themselves in an attempt to cool their faces in the hot evening air.
But the heat could not keep a lid on the jubilation felt by the sea of gowned grads as their parents, family members and friends cheered them onto their next phase of life.
During the school’s sixth ever graduation ceremony, graduates filed into the outdoor amphitheater facing a setting sun as the CVHS band played “Pomp and Circumstance,” followed by James McDade playing the National Anthem on a piano.
“No, it wasn’t easy but it certainly was an adventure,” reminded Senior Class President Savanna Alvear, also one of 16 salutatorians of the class. She inspired her classmates to persist, saying “always do your best and don’t the fear of messing up prevent you from achieving something great.”
Dominique German delivered the Senior Address, themed “Our Past, Our Present, Our Future” with some parting thoughts.
“Some of think that high school is the best time of our life,” said Germann. “If this is the case, then you’ve missed the point. What has happened here at high school is just the beginning. What could happen and what lies ahead should excite you.”
Jocelyn Camarillo delivered the Senior Spanish Address entitled, “Agradeciendo Nuestro Pasado.”
Salutatorians who did not address the ceremony were Julie Avila, Katie Butrica, Jorge Canales, Raul Castillo, Claudia Hernandez, Gila Juarez, Yadira Lopez Ramirez, James McDade, Maria Oceguera, Daniel Reyes, Citlali Soltero Ruelas and Justin Thornton.
In her valedictorian address titled “Creating Your Own Trail, Angela Pimentel first thanked all parents in the crowd. She crafted her address after Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
“I would like to challenge everyone here to become one thing: a trail blazer,” said Pimentel. “A trail blazer is a person who goes with their gut, is confident in themselves and wants to change the world for the better. Everyone here can attest to the fact that no great person was ever a follower. Instead those who go on to change the world are men and women who carve a way for the mainstream to do something great. These people who make a difference are great.”
She cautioned that there will be naysayers along the way but for all to keep their heads high to “push against the tide of disapproval.”
Principal Amy Peterman bid farewell to the class, sharing highlights and impacts certain seniors made on her.
The seniors left the school to the playing of Alphaville’s “Forever Young.”
In attendance were two state senators in Tom Berryhill and Anthony Cannella who both hail from Ceres.
A host of Ceres Unified School District graduation ceremonies took place last week .
Whitmore Charter High School graduation ceremonies were held Monday, June 3 in the Central Valley High School gymnasium.
Whitmore Charter Middle School graduated its eighth-graders on Tuesday, June 4, also at the CVHS gymnasium.
Argus and Endeavor highs graduated with Ceres Adult Education on Tuesday, June 4 at the Ceres High School athletic stadium.
Chavez Junior High School graduated its eighth grade class on Wednesday, June 5 at the CVHS Amphitheatre.
Eighth-graders at Mae Hensley Junior High School graduated Wednesday on the CHS football field.
Blaker-Kinser Junior High saw its eighth-graders receive diplomas on Thursday inside the CVHS Amphitheatre.
Ceres High High bid farewell to its class of seniors at a 7:30 p.m. ceremony on Thursday in the CHS Stadium.