Pete Rodriguez squinted as he focused his black state-of-the-art smart phone on his grandson Jordan D’Amico. The eighth grader was one of 60 students who were on the stage inside the Lincoln Elementary School Cafeteria on Wednesday which was crammed with family members and school and district staff attending the Promotion Ceremony for the Class of 2014 who will be attending high school in the fall.
The white-whiskered proud grandfather was not the only one with the smart Kodak moment idea. The sea of guests was punctuated by several arms raised overhead with the hands clutching onto digital cameras, cell phones, and camcorders to capture a graduate’s red-letter day remembrance to mark a special milestone.
Several eighth graders being promoted had a special reason to remember the day as more than significant. They were chosen to receive special awards which were presented by Principal Steve Anderson. Among the six students who were called to the podium for the presentation, Carina Sanchez received a special mention as well as a surprise that accompanied the certificate of recognition. Taped on the back of her certificate was an envelope which, the principal was careful to point out, contained a cash award. It was the Robert Morgan Award in memory of the late vice principal and former science teacher.
Other students recognized were Ashley Smith and Antonio Ramirez for Character Counts; Ariana De La Torre for Student Leadership and Distinguished Scholar awards, and Brittany Rumery for Music Award.
Leading the Flag Salute to start the promotion ceremony was Alejandro Vega, Lincoln Student Body president. Rodrigo Gonzales took his classmates down memory lane as he reflected on their memories of their elementary alma mater. Speaking about their future as students was Yesenia Garcia who specially thanked their Lincoln “teachers who made bad days good and good days even better.”
Vice Principal Suzanne McCreath gave the welcome speech at the start of the program.
Language Arts teacher Bred Patterson read the names of each graduate at the conclusion of the ceremony as the graduates lined up to receive their diplomas from Manteca Unified Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke and MUSD Board of Trustees vice president Evelyn Moore.