WESTON RANCH —The wind that swept through the stadium at Weston Ranch Thursday evening might have been more of a sign than most people realized.
As the 232 members of the Class of 2011, Weston Ranch High School’s sixth graduating class, worked to keep their caps on and prevent their gowns from blowing everywhere, the wind that was making things periodically uncomfortably was changing things all around them – from the dirt on the track to the agricultural fields surrounding the master-planned community.
And it will be change that each and every one of those graduates will now have to toil with now that they’ve completed their formal public education.
“As you leave my hope is that we instilled in you a true education,” said Principal Jose Fregoso. “Take what you have learned here and go out into the world and use it because it’s not just for your benefit. It’s so that you’re able to go out and serve others as well.”
Senior Class President Jessica Elizondo split time at the lectern with vice president Vanessa Nisperos to outline the good times that the class – which includes students that have been attending school together since kindergarten – have had over the course of the last four years.
While one chapter of the book is closing, Elizondo said, there’s no reason that you can’t go back and read it to remind you of the fun that you had during that time in your life.
“This may be the last time that you’re in same place with a lot of the people that are here today,” she said. “But we’ll all be able to look back and remember the four years that we spent together. That’ll never go away.”
Eight students were honored for their academic achievement and their extended membership in the California Scholarship Federation – earning lifetime seal bearer awards for their dedication and their achievements. Sara Brannan, Sidney Carter, Marcus Castro, Jesus Fuentes, An Vy Hoang, Alfredo Rayray, Liberty Ann Rivera and Itsui John Yamayoshi all donned gold ribbons around their gowns symbolizing their accomplishment.
And it was Yamayoshi, the valedictorian, that captured the attention of both his classmates and those in attendance when he stepped up to deliver his address.
While inserting jokes about forgetting everything he learned by the end of the summer, Yamayoshi also talked about the memories made and the experiences he had and how the past four years will be something that everybody will remember for something.
“Right now it’s ending. You’ll never get to touch the soft grass on this football field, sit with the same group of people that you used to every day, or come back to this school ever again,” Yamayoshi said. “So I leave you with this last goodbye. I say aloha.
“I’m not going to Hawaii. I wish. But in the English translation aloha means hello and goodbye. In Hawaiian it means love and compassion. So, hello and goodbye. I say this with the love and compassion that you should take with you forward in your endeavors.”