Jestine Tapia and Marwa Hijabi said they feel proud as they complete four years of high school and finally graduate.
“I am really happy and excited to show my parents something they can be proud of because they helped me out a lot,” Tapia said.
Sixty-nine seniors walked across the stage and turned their tassels Friday night during in the 2019 Colusa High School graduation ceremony, held at the Colusa High School Stadium.
Hijabi said she is especially proud because she is the first Hijabi Muslim to graduate from Colusa High School.
Valedictorian Rosa Garibay Montez and Co-Salutatorians Chloe Ferrauiolo and Erik Wrysinski all gave speeches during the ceremony.
Prior to the ceremony, Andrea Garcia offered words of advice for those struggling to get through high school.
“If you really want to succeed academically, just do all your work,” Garcia said. “The teachers really want to see that you are trying.”
Alonda Madrigal agreed and said she knows how difficult the course load can be.
“I just feel really happy to be here,” Madrigal said. “I really thought I wasn’t going to make it.”
Colusa High School principal Rebecca Changus offered a heartfelt congratulations to all of the graduates on behalf of the entire Colusa High School staff.
“We are extremely proud of our Class of 2019,” Changus said. “Many of the graduates demonstrated excellence academically, dedicated time to community service and participated in numerous extra-curricular activities. We know the future is bright for our young adults as they transition to their next phase of life.”
Changus also shared her appreciation for those that helped these students succeed in high school and beyond.
“To our parents and community, thank you for your ongoing support of Colusa High School and our students,” Changus said. “Our community makes Colusa a special place, and we treasure the small town feeling we are able to extend to our students. Congratulation graduates!”
In Arbuckle, 101 seniors took their final walk across the Pierce High School north lawn during the graduation ceremonies held on Friday.
Prior to the ceremonies, the graduating students reflected on all of the high school experiences and school staff they are going to miss as they transition into the next phase of their life.
“I’m going to miss sixth period visiting with my Tia and all the memories in soccer with my teammates,” said Pricilla Gonzalez.
“I am going to miss third period chicas with Perla, Patty and Maria,” said Salutatorian Katherine Corona.
During the graduation ceremony, Corona spoke about her experiences going through her entire school career in Arbuckle. She also thanked the Davis Police Department for attending the graduation ceremonies and showing such support to her family after the loss of her older sister, Natalie, who was killed in the line of duty as a Davis Police Force rookie earlier this year.
Other speakers during the ceremony included Co-Valedictorians Emma Doherty and Darleny Corona as well as Class President Christian Saavedra.
Many of the graduates said they were going to miss the tight-knit and supportive school environment at Pierce High School.
“I will remember most the smiles we get from all the teachers before class welcoming us to a great day,” said Matthew Tapia. “I am going to miss Pierce High School most because of all of the school spirit. Go Bears!”
“Growing up in this town, everyone knows everyone and we all get along,” said Jonathon Corchado. “This school always wants the best for their students and for them to become successful. I am going to miss sports and classmates, but most importantly miss my Tia Pat, because she helped me pass classes my senior year and pushed me to become a better person.”
“As a community we are all very close, and the teachers are very helpful and supportive. I am going to miss Patty and Perla in the Quad C and my classmates. Pierce High School is a great school where you can be yourself.
School staff echoed this sediment.
“Pierce High School is a family community,” said English teacher Lynn Howard. “Our campus environment is supportive and inclusive and caring. Every student is valued by the staff for who they are as human beings, as well as who they are as students. This is evident when you walk around on campus and watch the interactions between students and teachers at all hours of the day, in the classrooms, the hallways, the gym and the campus grounds.”
Superintendent Carol Geyer sent these students off with words of encouragement but said she hopes to see them again after they reach their future goals.
“As superintendent of the Pierce Joint Unified School District, I am proud to see these worthy, young adults graduate from high school,” Geyer said. “These students have a variety of aspirations for their futures. We have hopes that a few of them will even return to our community as educators.”