Collin Scholl is an East Union High School survivor. At least, that’s how he described himself in his salutatory address delivered during commencement exercises on Thursday at the Lancers’ Dino Cunial stadium.
“I personally know that I would not have survived high school without my parents,” said the incoming freshman this fall at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Recognizing the contributions of parents, siblings, Lancer teachers, and friends was a common thread in the messages of the three Class of 2013 student speakers – valedictorian Kimberly LaMar, Scholl, and Mitchell Liwanag who was the selected speaker for his senior class.
Two of the Lancer graduates received more than just congratulatory handshakes from two of the Manteca Unified Board of Education Trustees who presented the diplomas – president Don Scholl and Trustee Deborah Romero – whose children were among those who marched in their blue and red caps and gowns.
Several of the Lancer faculty members – Spanish teachers Yvette Fisher and Sonia Ciccareilli, government instructor Steve Jackson, and Dan Triglia who teaches economics – congratulated some of their students with handshakes and hugs.
For some of the graduates like best friends Maggie Bustamante and Jennifer Goodwin, the evening was a bittersweet moment. The evening ceremony was the highlight of their four years in high school, a joyous occasion marking the end of a journey filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges. But it was also sad for friends like Bustamante and Goodwin who now have to follow diverging roads leading to different life destinations. For Bustamante, the road will take her to New Mexico where she plans to start her pre-med studies. Goodwin will stay closer to home, attending Modesto Junior College and then transferring later on to a university campus to study business. In the meantime, like many high school graduates, she will spend the summer hiatus by trying to find a job.
The evening commencement program began with the Lancer Camelot juniors in white gowns and floral headbands leading the seniors during the processional, a graduation tradition that started in the mid-1980s. The ceremony ended just as the bright near full-moon rose above the eastern horizon.