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Lathrop School brings back tradition with 8th-grade promotion ceremonies

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Lathrop School brings back tradition with 8th-grade promotion ceremonies

Lathrop School eighth graders pose for a group photo.

Photo contributed/


POSTED June 5, 2009 2:41 a.m.
Monday morning, Lathrop Elementary kicked off their week of Promotion Activities. Lathrop began their day with a breakfast, organized by parent volunteers, in the gym for all students making promotion and their parents.

At 9:30 a.m., the whole class of 2009, including those students not making promotion, was invited into the gym to watch a power point presentation. The presentation was created by Ines Sosa, Vanessa Valdez, and Monica Brambila to commemorate the time between one stage in the students’ lives to today.

At 10 a.m., the Promotion Ceremony (Graduation) began outdoors in the Junior High Quad area. Seventy-seven students walked across the stage to accept their Certificate of Promotion.

Jon Bon Jovi’s song, “Welcome To Wherever You Are” began the procession. The song was chosen to start the ceremony as the lyrics showed the importance of individuality and continued success along with the obstacles we all face in life. The students all dressed as individuals reflecting their own personalities; all looking sharp!

David Silveira, principal of Lathrop Elementary, spoke on the past reflecting upon Lathrop’s students academic, social, and behavioral experiences while Mr. Chamberlain, Lathrop High School’s principal, spoke to the future and the expectations ahead.

As the class speaker, Brandon Bonalos spoke of the students’ memories made throughout their years at Lathrop Elementary and how today was only a step toward the future at Lathrop High. From Warriors to Spartans, this promotion ceremony reflects the transition from one school to another, but a continued focus on the diploma ahead.

Mr. Shima, Mr. Mackey, and Mr. Lum, 8th-grade staff, presented awards to Ines Sosa, Brandon Bonalos, Jessica Denning, Maria Almanza, and Vanessa Valdez. Each received awards for their 4.0 GPA status and Presidential Achievement.

The Lathrop Elementary Choir was directed by instructor Mike Mulidor in singing, The Journey Continues”.

Ms. Walkowiec and Mr. Alvarez, vice principals, presented each of the students with their Certificates of Promotion as Fran Roberts, Director of Compensatory Education, accepted the students for meeting promotion standards.

The ceremony ended with a closing song from Green Day, Time Of Your Life” and a presentation to Linda Lund, parent volunteer chair person, on behalf of the future graduates of 2013 for all her coordination of this year’s events.

Students were then given an opportunity to leave for lunch with their families to celebrate individually.

At 2 p.m., the 8th graders returned to party or dance in the school’s gym until 5 p.m. where the day’s events came to an end.

Then on Tuesday it was off to Great America.

Lathrop Elementary went back to the roots of 8th grade promotion. For years, promotions grew to be sometimes greater than High School graduations. Some individuals in the generations before us only made it to 8th-grade as working to support oneself or a family became the priority. Today 8th grade is a transition year.

Promotion became “graduation” with all the flare and excitement of 12th grade. When the district began to look at returning to a simpler, more economic, yet celebratory day, Lathrop Elementary jumped at it, moving away from the term “Graduation” to the term” Promotion”.

An event that cost hundreds of dollars became more affordable for our families, planning and preparation became less of a challenge for staff and parent volunteers, and students still earned the right to celebrate one end and the start of a new beginning.
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