Manteca Unified Board of Trustee Michael Seelye was very impressed.
In all of his years on the school district board attending graduations, he said Mossdale School so far has the “largest class of smart kids.” He made the comment before he officially declared the Mossdale School Class of 2014 as ready for promotion to freshman high school.
He was referring to the number of graduating eighth graders who made it to the top of the class. Mossdale School had not just one, or two, or even three who earned top honors. There were eight valedictorians out of the 89 students being promoted. These high achievers were Eryn Balugo, Chad Hoang, Jiwoo Kim, Gwynneth Orlino, Virly Santos, Berkeley Torres, France Ruma, and Beatrice Vilches.
Five of the eight valedictorians – Balugo, Kim, Orlino, Santos, and Ruma – also took part in the promotion ceremony on Tuesday as student speakers. Hoang also received special academic honor recognition.
In their brief but meaningful messages, the student speakers acknowledged the role their parents and teachers played in their achievements thus far. One thanks a well-liked teacher on campus described as “fatherly” and recalled the time he was “accidentally hit by a ball during PE.” They also shared nuggets of wisdom not just with their classmates but to everyone in the packed school gymnasium.
• If you care about what people think, you’ll always be their prisoner.
• Failure is not about falling down; it’s about getting up each time you fall.
• How you view yourself is everything.
Doing the honors of handing out the certificates of promotion to the eighth graders was eighth-grade teacher Federico Rodriguez. He was assisted by Seelye who held the paper bag that contained the certificates.