San Gorgonio graduation

Some 428 students graduated from San Gorgonio High School Thursday, June 7, at Phil Haley Stadium.

More than 400 San Gorgonio High School seniors turned a significant page in their lives at commencement on a gloriously sunny Thursday, June 7, at Phil Haley Stadium in San Bernardino.

Principal Dion Clark, a San Gorgonio graduate herself, welcomed the graduates.

“I love you all dearly and you will always be in my heart,” she told them. “Always.”

Superintendent Dale Marsden

Superintendent Dale Marsden told the crowd the graduation rate six years ago in the San Bernardino City Unified School District was 68 percent, among the lowest in any large urban area in California.

“Today, because of the leaders you see behind me and Mrs. Clark’s leadership and all the teachers and the classified staff, our graduation rate as a school district is 91 percent,” Marsden said.

That’s higher than the national and county average.

“And the graduation rate at this school is 96 percent. And the 411 is that the number of students graduating in this year in this class, and just seven students are not walking right now, but we know the story of all seven of them and they will walk this summer.

“That’s the kind of work that happens at San G High School, and we’re so proud you. Congratulations, Class of 2018.”

Valedictorian Tina Bui

San Gorgonio High School valedictorian Tina Bui delivers her addressed to her fellow graduates Thursday, June 7, at Phil Haley Stadium.

Valedictorian Tina Bui’s speech seemed heartfelt and fun.

“Thank you all for being here to listen to our names for three hours,” Bui said, drawing hoots and hollers.

“You guys won’t even remember me, unless I’m doing brain surgery on you or doing your nails — which ever way the wind blows,” she said.

Bui plans to attend UCLA and become a neurosurgeon. She has amassed $12,000 in scholarships. The Class of 2018 has totaled $1.3 million in scholarships, Principal Clark said, up a tick from her report at last week’s scholarship awards.

Bui told the group about the lotus flower, which grows deep in the muddy water far away from the sun.

“Some of us are low-income or immigrants or first-generation graduates or from an under-resourced area,” Bui said. “In time, you will grow into a beautiful flower.”

Like the lotus, she said, “we have the potential in our hearts.”

“So what about those big dreams, Class of 2018?” Bui said. “All we have to do is bloom.”

Salutatorians Anthony Rosales and Alexandra Soto

San Gorgonio High School salutatorians Anthony Rosales and Alexandra Soto hug between their speeches at commencement ceremonies on Thursday. The third salutatorian was Danela Ramirez Rivera.

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