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Friends end up 1-2 in MHS Class of 2009
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From left, salutatorian Charleigh Nygaard and valedictorian Gurwinder Kaur are the top academic students at Manteca High, and will lead the Class of 2009 at next week’s commencement exercises. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Gurwinder Kaur and Charleigh Nygaard have been friends since their sophomore year at Manteca High.

“We met in English class,” said Kaur, who, as valedictorian, will lead the Class of 2009 during the June 4 commencement ceremonies.
Nygaard holds the honor of salutatorian.

The longstanding graduation tradition begins at 7 p.m. at Guss Schmiedt Field, with an estimated 355 candidates scheduled to receive their diplomas.

Kaur, who is the daughter of Shamsher Singh and Parsin Kaur, posted a 4.38 grade point average, and will attend UC Berkeley in the fall, majoring in biology with an emphasis in pre-med.

“Right now, I’m not sure what type of doctor – maybe a cardiologist?” she said on Thursday.

Kaur’s list of activities included Buffalo Community Service Club (she was vice president), School Site Council (vice chair), and Link Crew while doing volunteer work at Kaiser Permanente, Manteca Branch Library, and Doctors Hospital, to name a few.

Nygaard was also involved in the many of the same activities, serving as president of the Buffalo Community Service Club, Christian Club, CSF, National Honor Society, and School Site Council.

In addition, she was ASB treasurer and involved in Link Crew, leadership, and cheerleading, with her endeavors consisting of helping out at the church nursery and senior center while working part-time at the Family Christian Store.

Charleigh Nygaard, who has a 4.25 GPA, is the daughter of Renee and Thomas Nygaard.

She’ll be attending Concordia University – a Christian-based college located in Portland, Ore. – and is also setting her sights at pre-med.

“I’m hoping to someday become an obstetrician,” said Nygaard, who attended Joshua Cowell School and eighth-grade at Manteca Christian School.

At graduation, she plans to talk about encouraging her classmates to “go further than expectations.”

Kaur plans to deliver her speech in rhyme scheme poetry.

“I want to focus on the future rather than the past,” she said.

Kaur also attended Golden West School. She arrived at the Manteca Unified site as a fifth-grade student via Hayward and India.

“I was born there,” she said of the latter.