Alvin Vang’s black gown was heavier than most.
It wasn’t that the fabric was thicker or that he had anything special sewn into his that would set him apart from his French Camp Elementary School classmates as they prepared for their eighth grade promotion ceremony Tuesday night.
But with a year of perfect grades and perfect attendance, Vang racked up 25 individual pins that he wore on the breast of his gown that made it resemble the ribbons a General has tacked to his uniform – pins that shone and clanged as he walked up to the stage to lead those in attendance in the flag salute and offer a heartfelt welcome.
It was Daisy Perez and Mayra Sanchez, however, that summarized the experience of spending the last year as the big fish in a small pond – the students in a relatively small eighth grade class in French Camp that will soon be prowling the East Union campus as freshmen.
“I want all of us to remember the special and wonderful memories that we made with our classmates,” Perez said. “I remember how when we were little we would run up to the window of the office to see our classes. I want to thank the teachers and the staff and all of our family and friends for helping us get here tonight.
“It’s a special night for all of us.”