Calaveras High School
At Calaveras High School, people showed up two hours early to see the 203 students earn their diplomas.
Calaveras Principal Michael Merrill said it was the 111th commencement ceremony. He talked about the class and its achievements, despite joking that they waited until the last minute to get things done. But they always for done what needed to be done.
Anthony Ciolino, the rally commissioner, talked about freshman year what it meant to be a Redskin, despite the school being forced by state law to give up the mascot.
Emma Leiser, class secretary/treasurer, said during their sophomore year they kept the bell for another year
Caleb Steffes, class vice president, said during junior year, there was non-stop terrorist attacks by Isis and Donald J. Trump announcing he was running for president. Steffes ended his talked saying, once a Redskin always a Redskin.
Jeb Boyette, class president, said during senior year, the schools lost its beloved mascot, but it continued on. He noted the new president of the United States and send ended his speech with “Go Redskins!!”
Hunter Reusche was the top volunteer of 2017 with 1,482 hours of volunteer service and 50 other students volunteered a total 13,314 hours
Valedictorian speeches were given by Danah Gissler and Natasha Koval. Once their speeches were completed the graduates were called up one at a time to collect their diplomas.
Don Pedro High School
Don Pedro graduated nine students Wednesday night. They received a total of $19,100 in scholarships. Valedictorian was Robert DeBolt and salutatorian was Tyler Goodrow,
Sonora High School
Sonora High graduated 184 students, filling Dunlavy Stadium beginning at 5 p.m. for the 7 p.m. ceremony. People continued to stream in even as the graduates approached the field at 6:45. Hugs and handshakes were in abundance during a breezy, chilly, drizzly evening.
Approximately 74 students pre-recorded special thank you messages, which played on the stadium loudspeakers. Students thanked their friends, family members, coaches, teachers, community members and one student thanked his dogs.
Ceremonies started just before 7 p.m. as the Sonora High Golden Regiment played the processional march and members of a packed stadium snapped cell phone photos and video. Cheers were heard repeatedly as each graduate walked to their seats on the field.
Maximillian Walker, 2016-2017 Student Body representative, got things started, and the ceremonies proceeded with the Pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner and a brief presentation by Carley Copello, Parkyre and Emma Rusch, Class of 2017 Officers.
Ott Smithson and Jacob Valencia performed “My Way” and received a raucous round of applause.
Samantha Slater, salutatorian, gave her speech during a hard drizzle, smiling throughout. She will attend Pepperdine University in the fall on a swim scholarship. Samuel Accurso, valedictorian, followed. He will attend the University of California at Berkeley, studying mechanical engineering.
Principal Benjamin Howell gave a heartfelt speech before diplomas were given.