At Anzar High School, a student’s song choice tells a lot. It shows at graduation each year, and the tradition played out once again in the school gym June 14.
Students strutted into the ceremony to songs of their choice, a nod to Anzar’s emphasis on individuality and self-expression.
From there, longtime Principal Charlene McCowen, who’s retiring after next school year, spoke to the 84 graduating students and crowd.
“This is not a group of disaffected or apathetic students,” McCowen said. “This is a group with a core of active and ethical citizenry.”
The principal went on to wish them well.
“This class of 2018 has barely begun to show its potential,” she said. “They are power. I admire them. I value them. I’m crazy proud of them. Thank you, Class of 2018.”
Valedictorian Skylar Seyffert joined salutatorians Destiny Hansen and Juan Morales Aguirre in addressing the crowd next.
“I am happy to be able to say that all my pain and hard work has finally paid off in my achievement of becoming valedictorian. It seems only fitting that two of my best friends are up here with me as salutatorians.”
They were among 13 student speakers who joined five senior advisers — educators assigned to a given group of students — and Superintendent Michele Huntoon in giving speeches at the ceremony.
Adviser Greg Braithwaite emphasized what matters most after graduation.
“What people care about is that you’re a good person,” he said. “That’s what’s real in this world. People care that you’re kind. People care that you’ll help others. People care that you have respect for yourself.”
Adviser Katie Deckelmann thanked each student for one defining trait.
“Thank you Emily for your self-expression. Thank you Adam for your drive. Thank you Carlos for your compassion,” she said, going down the list of students.
There were plenty of hugs between outgoing students and teachers as the speeches progressed before students received their diplomas.
Class of 2018 students from Anzar will attend the following:
BYU Provo, Cabrillo College, CIT/San Jose, Clovis Community College, CSU-Chico, CSI-East Bay, CSU-Fresno, CSU-Humboldt, CSU-Los Angeles, CSU-Monterey Bay, Gavilan College, Golden West College, Hartnell College, Monterey Peninsula College, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, UC-Merced, UC-Santa Barbara, Whatcom Community College, Army, Navy