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Ripon graduates celebrate ‘going on’ to new ventures

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Ripon High Class of 2014

Video from Ripon High School's 2014 commencement exercises.


POSTED May 30, 2014 12:54 a.m.

The Ripon High Class of 2014 is a unique class.

So said Principal Lance Morrow at Thursday’s annual commencement exercises held at Stouffer Field.

He was quick to point out that 12 of the graduating classmates sported 4.0 grade point averages or better during all four years at the school, and about half of the 188 maintained 3.0 GPAs while at RHS.

Morrow also praised this group for achievements in athletics – he noted the Trans Valley League titles in the various sports – and activities.

His claim was supported by class President Andrina Aguilar.

“The Class of 2014 was like no other,” she said, addressing the standing room only crowd.

Aguilar, in fact, served as president of the class during her four years at the school. She reflected on that span as being a “long but a fast four years.”

When it came to academics, Abigail Waters and Mackenzie Gauden led the way. They held the honors as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

Both reflected on their years at RHS.

“What we learned about high school is something that you learn from a text book,” said Gauden.  “How we interact with each other played an instrumental role in shaping our beliefs and values to help us through life.”

Waters made good on a bet she made with her younger brother Dallas.

Standing in front of her classmates on the dais, she took out her cell phone to capture the moment by snapping a graduation ‘selfie.’

But Waters only used social media as an example. While she enjoyed her moments at RHS – even the embarrassing ones – the UCLA-bound Waters is turning her focus to the future.

“Graduation – it’s not about the leaving but the going, as in going on to new and exciting things,” she said.

Many in Waters’ graduating class will opt at different choices in the aftermath of high school.

She knows that some like herself and Gauden, who will continue with her softball career at Washington University in St. Louis, are continuing along the road of higher education. Others will look for jobs.

“Don’t be sad that’s we’re leaving,” Waters said.”Celebrate that we are going.”

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