By ERIN MAYES
The 145 graduates in Bret Hart High School's class of 2003 went out in style Friday night.
Not a group to dwell on the past, the teens goofed off for much of their ceremony, blowing bubbles, tossing candy to each other and whacking at least five inflatable beach balls to and fro, much to the amusement of their friends and family.
"It was boss," said Thomas "Trea" Turner of his graduation.
"That means good," he translated for the non-high school crowd.
Turner's grandparents, Maureen and Peter Glines, drove to the ceremony from Long Beach and expressed their pride, particularly in Turner's recent decision to join the Navy in August.
Salutatorian Julie Lauterbach and valedictorian Gina Garland read the story of Ferdinand the bull together, after Garland told their classmates she would refrain from breaking into a "sappy speech" and letting the "waterworks begin."
The tale of Ferdinand is one of a bull who just wants to sit under an oak tree and smell the flowers, rather than be a fierce Spanish toro. Lauterbach and Garland said students should be like Ferdinand in that they do what they want and not let others pressure them into taking on goals that are not really their own.
"It is best to just be yourself," Garland said. "The trick is to find what makes you happy and then do it."
The lack of a "sappy speech" didn't keep Sonya Ybarra from getting a little teary-eyed.
"I can't stop crying," she said, looking a little surprised. "I'm happy and sad and excited and scared."
Ybarra and her friend Taryn Bourgeois, who was "so excited," plan to attend college in Santa Cruz. Ybarra wants to study nursing and Bourgeois will tackle psychology.
The boys wore purple gowns and the girls wore yellow, and each student was given a carnation before they marched out to the familiar tune of "Pomp and Circumstance." They danced, jumped and skipped toward their seats to the cheers of the audience, many of whom showed their enthusiasm with various noisemakers, especially air horns.
The Union Democrat is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Tuesday through Saturday. E-Edition or Print Plus subscribers have full access.
If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access. Circulation: 209-533-3614
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties