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Mission Impossible serenades Sequoia School 8th grade graduates
Brandon Santos cuts the corner with fellow Sequoia eighth grader Jesse Lee on his arm. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Felix Gonzales lit up like a Christmas tree when he made his way into the foyer of Manteca High’s main gymnasium Tuesday evening, staring out at the packed house of parents, teachers and friends that were there to celebrate the promotion of Sequoia Elementary’s eighth-grade class.

With 81 students listed on the Class of 2011 roster and the vast majority of them graduating, the mood of the orange and black sea of students that slowly broke off into pairs as they proceeded into the heart of the gymnasium was electric – symbolizing the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another.

“It’s been a roller coaster experience,” said Valedictorian Alex Van, who shared the title and the speech with Fernando Candelas and Melissa Sousa.

Alyssa Barretta presented a “Tribute to Sequoia” speech that outlined the experiences the students enjoyed during their tenure and the great things that the school offered to those that called it home.

The Sequoia Band added a few recognizable if unlikely songs to the ceremony, including the theme of Mission Impossible and the ‘80s Rocky theme “Eye of the Tiger.”

Lathrop School

LATHROP — Tuesday morning marked the turning of a page for 121 eighth-grade students from Lathrop.

For the second year in a row, Lathrop Elementary held their morning promotion ceremony inside of the school’s multi-purpose room – welcoming parents and family to enjoy breakfast with the students in a unique format that Principal David Silveira adopted last year in place of what had traditionally been considered a graduation ceremony.

Lathrop High School Principal David Chamberlain was also on hand Tuesday morning to see a piece of what will soon be Lathrop High’s Class of 2015. He gave an address to the students outlining the expectations that lie ahead in their educational careers entitled “The Journey Continues.”

It was the tandem of Mauricio Torres and Manpreet Singh, however, that laid out the road that Lathrop Elementary’s Class of 2011 had taken to get to where they are today and outlined what they have to look forward to as they head towards the future.

George Komure

WESTON RANCH —Nathanial Edwards summed it all up for his George Komure classmates Tuesday morning at the Class of 2011’s eighth grade promotion ceremony.

It’s not just the end of one chapter, but the beginning of another.

In all, 114 Komure students were given their certificates of completion for their elementary education Tuesday morning – granting them a ticket to Weston Ranch High School and providing them the opportunity to further their academic careers as they take another step towards adulthood.

Tu Terry Ton and Yesenia Reynoso were honored as the class Valedictorians, and Jennah Hillyard, Erica Arquero, Justin Macatangay and Edwards were recognized as the class Salutatorians. Reynoso delivered the address to the students just before the gold cord students – those that maintained a grade point average above a 3.8 for the entire year – were recognized.