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EU grads taking their next steps
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A member of the East Union High School Class of 2012 proudly shows off her diploma during graduation ceremonies Friday evening. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

In her salutatory address, Alison Telles shared this nugget of wisdom to East Union High School’s Class of 2012: “How you face challenges will determine your success.”

She could have been talking about the Friday’s unseasonal weather, too, and how the rains that threatened the outdoor commencement program early in the evening caught some people by surprise. A couple, while on their way to see their niece receive her diploma, got drenched by the 5 o’clock precipitation. But that did not discourage them from attending, ignoring the discomfort of their wet coats throughout the hour-long ceremony in the school stadium.

Luckily for East Union’s Class of 2012, the evening sky cleared in time for the graduation show to begin.

Class valedictorian Cameron Shields also focused on the subject of life’s challenges in his valedictory address. Each one of them has the potential to alter the world they live in by doing great deeds. “Great deeds lead to great change,” he said, and that it’s up to their generation to “meet this challenge.”

Other graduating students featured in the program were Senior Class Student Speaker Steven Gigli who is also ASB treasurer, Leslie Zavala who led the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner, senior class president Ashley Duenas who delivered the welcome address, and ASB president Tyler Bertao who announced the special recognitions and introduced the special guests.

Honored with a special mention during the program was Anne Talcott who is retiring after 23 years as music teacher of the Manteca Unified School District.

She “cared about these kids as if they were her own,” Bertao said of Talcott.

The Lancers’ band director, Terry Silveira, conducted the East Union Band in the playing of the Pomp and Circumstance during the processional as well as the recessional music. School Principal John Alba presented the Class of 2012, followed by Manteca Unified School District Board of Trustees Evelyn Moore and Don Scholl awarding the diplomas to the graduates. The program concluded with the graduates singing East Union’s “Alma Mater” song led by Chusila Lee, Raychalee Lee, Victoria Ramos, Amanda Sokolowsky and the Lancer Band.