Thursday evening, June 6, a cool breeze tempered the stifling heat, as families and friends gathered at the Phil Haley stadium, at San Gorgonio High School to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2019.
Balloons, air horns, flowers, and colorful signs of their favorite graduates were the order of the evening.
From a distance, one could hear the chanting and excitement of the approximately 330 graduates fill the corridors of their alma mater, one last time.
After the procession of faculty and students entered the stadium and found their way to their seats, the pledge of allegiance was recited, and the ceremony commenced.
Valedictorian Athena Vo, salutatorian Ashley Alvarado, Ryan Chung, Leonardo Medina Ruiz and other honored students gave heart-felt, inspirational speeches.
The students thanked their families and friends for their support, and they encouraged their peers to stay focused and to pursue their dreams.
Some of the speeches were bilingual; 103 of the graduates were honored for being fluent in two languages. They were first spoken in Vietnamese, Chinese and Spanish and then translated into English.
Ruiz delivered an emotional speech, in Spanish, when she thanked her family for their support, love and encouragement.
Ninty-nine members of the Class of 2019, at San Gorgonio High, walked away with a Golden Seal Merit diploma.
Ashley Alvarado, Adam Martinez, Jordan Patchot and Alex Martinez were recognized as the class’s outstanding athletes.
The attendees cheered loudly when it was said that six of the graduates will go on to serve the United States of America, in the Armed Forces.
Sarah Mata will be attending CSUSB to study physical science and biology. She wishes to be a physical therapist.
“Next year, I will enroll at Lawrence Tech University to become a midwife,” said senior J’Saun Jackson.
“I want to become a developmental psychologist,” said Josue Canizales.
Canizales will enroll at the University of San Diego and study psychology.
Graduate Frida Ramirez wants to go to San Bernardino Valley College to study business administration. Her aspiration is to become a chief operations officer.
Aleksandra Kahler wants to become a lawyer. She is off to University of Las Vegas.
As a veil of cool air fell upon the stadium, the graduates moved their tassels from one side of their caps to the other, marking their accomplishment of achieving one of life’s milestones.
At its conclusion, the Class of 2019 enthusiastically celebrated with blasts of air horns, cheers, tossed caps and plenty of hugs and smiles.
With eager parents and friends awaiting their loved one at the end of the Daisy Chain, to these Spartans, and to their alma mater, it is “ever upward, onward your mem’ry at our side.”