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Golden West, Neil Hafley 8th graders EU-bound
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Destiny Flores is all smiles as she enters during the procession. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Cassidy Smith has already sampled high school.

At Tuesday’s eighth-grade promotion event at Neil Hafley School, she mentioned spending an hour a day at nearby East Union to take a French class to family, friends, teachers, administrators and special guests.

In the next few months, Smith, who was one three student speakers at the commencement exercise, will be back at East Union but, this time, will be joined by many of her classmates.

The majority of the Class of 2011 has been at Neil Hafley since kindergarten, including Smith.

“I’ve seen many of you grow and change over the year, both academically and socially,” she said.

An estimated 82 eighth-grade students were promoted on this day.

Principal Steve Anderson offered sound advice to these youngsters prior to the processional. “Enjoy the moment,” he said.

“This year has gone by quickly,” said student speaker Nicole Garcia. “We’re eager to become (high school) freshmen.”

Shanshan Li, who was honored as the top academic student, is also looking ahead to the challenges of the coming years.

She placed emphasis on effort.

“I don’t know what adventures are ahead for us in high school,” said Li. “I know that when you fall, you have to get up and try again.”

 In addition, the school honored Steve Sandoval and Sandra Sanchez for exemplary citizenship.

“There were a lot of outstanding citizens (at Neil Hafley), but these two really stood out,” said Anderson at the event held in the school courtyard.

Golden West School

Some 66 eighth-grade students at Golden West School were honored Tuesday at the promotional exercise held in the Community Gymnasium.

They can thank those seated nearby for making this day possible. Included were parents, teachers and staff of the school.

“Each played an important role (for eighth-graders) in achieving this major milestone,” said Principal Sherie Gates, who called this collaborative effort a partnership.

 She was especially proud of the accomplishments by these students, who can now look ahead to high school.

“I’m going to say goodbye to the past and hello to the future,” said Student Body President Estefany Jauregui, who credited her years at the school for helping shape her life.

“Golden West made me who I am – The teachers really made a difference in my life,” she added.

The Class of 2011 made a memorable entrance at the promotion ceremony, borrowing a page or two from a 2009 viral video – namely, JK Wedding Entrance Dance – while dancing the aisles with support of the principal.

Vice President Vanessa Martin led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Evelyn Gonzalez and Danielle Parham provided the introductions,

Seventeen students were honored for their academic achievement of 3.5 grade point average or better during the past year.

They were led by Brittany Corona, Quenesha Baul, Andrea Anaya, and Jauregui, who, for the past school year, had 4.0 GPAs.