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352 Lancers earn diplomas

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352 Lancers earn diplomas

East Union High graduate Nick Ferreira gestures towards his family and friends seated in the stands during East Union High's commencement exercises on Thursday.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED May 28, 2010 3:42 a.m.
No Plan B or Plan C was necessary.

East Union High’s commencement program Thursday went according to schedule at Dino Cunial Field.

Rains earlier that day threatened to dampen the special occasion. But the skies cleared just enough during the early evening while conditions – other than winds – remained dry for the 352 seniors receiving their diplomas.

Only lightning would have put a halt to graduation.

As it turned out, East Union’s Class of 2010 enjoyed a ceremony proudly shared by family, friends, teachers, and special guests.

Included was Manteca Unified Assistant Superintendent Don Halseth, who was the first-ever student body president at East Union and a member of the school’s first graduating Class of 1969.

He was joined by MUSD director of secondary education Clara Schmiedt, school board President Michael Seelye and Trustee Vern Gebhardt.

Each had personal ties to East Union with the latter spending over 25 years as teacher and coach.

Senior class treasurer Desiree Phillips and class secretary Brianna Lamont kicked graduation off by leading in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The singing of the Star-Spangled Banner was performed by Stephanie Ortiz while Ciara Jones, the senior class vice president, had the honors of welcoming those in attendance.

Senior class president Briana O’Brien was in charge of special recognition along with the introductions.

For the classmates, their time together included forging individual relationships and sharing memories.

“Graduation is a time to look fondly of the memories of the past four years,” said valedictorian Erica Aguiar.

Her time at East Union included attending football games, soccer matches, dances and rallies, and “spending time with a group of friends to do whatever,” she said.

To her classmates, salutatorian Katie Vaught provided a reference point of their time together.

“We’re the generation of Miley Cyrus and MySpace,” she said.

Kim Baptista was another student speaker. She earned that privilege by winning out in an American Idol-type of audition.

Baptista also reflected on the changes that took place during the past four years.

“We went from our freshman year and having the jitters, to our senior year with the laziness of going to class,” she said.

Added Aguiar:  “This was an important time in our lives – I’m glad we had this time together.”

The classmates took the big step into the next chapter of their lives after Principal John Alba made the proclamation for the issuance of diplomas to Halseth, who gave his acceptance.

Led by Baptista, who was accompanied by the Lancer Band under the direction of Terry Silveira, the Class of 2010 closed out graduation by reciting the East Union “Alma Mater.”

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