RIPON — A total of 51 Ripon Elementary School graduates received their diplomas from Trustee Donna Parks Tuesday night at the Ripon High School multi-use room before a crowd of parents and friends.
Principal Michael Larson said this is the first graduating class with students who have been with him since he came to the school – all nine years from kindergarten to graduation. They were of course part of the student body last year when the school was presented the California Distinguished School Award by the California State Department of Education.
“I told them they are one of the most musically inclined – one of the best staying on tune, singing as a group,” he said. Like all of the Ripon elementary schools that made the trek to San Francisco for their class trip, they dressed “professionally” with the boys wearing shirts and ties with light jackets and nice shoes. The girls outfitted in dresses and skirts when they went to the AT&T Park tour, the Bay Cruise and Buba Grumps for dinner.
Six of the grads have already taken geometry at the high school level – along with algebra as seventh graders, he added.
Trustee Parks presented the coveted Trustee Awards to two students, Pavit Dhaliwal and Jasmine Stansil. Citizenship awards went to Gabrielle McDonough and Luke Robison. The citizenship awards were presented by Mrs. Jenna Valponi and Mr. James Thomas.
Two students welcomed the audience, Brent White and Florita Ruiz – the latter speaking in Spanish.
The guest speaker for the graduation was Ripon Elementary alumna Jalmeen Dhaliwal. Introducing the speaker to the audience was student Pavit Dhaliwal.
The class song was “Live Like We’re Dyin’” by Chris Allen and the class motto, “Live life to the fullest.”
For the recessional music, it was “Fireworks” by Katy Perry.