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Student leaders forged Lathrop High traditions
Lathrop High School Senior Class president Priscilla Rodriguez and Associated Student Body vice president Emilio Perez are proud to be not only part of the schools first graduating class, but to also have played a part in fostering a fun and inviting atmosphere for students. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

LATHROP – Priscilla Rodriguez was more than intimidated when she decided to venture out and try her hand in the leadership class at Lathrop High School.

Little did she know that she would end up being the senior class president and would flourish as part of the group that helps plan all of the campus activities and serves as the governing body for the respective grade levels they represent.

“I knew that I wanted to try leadership, but I was scared and I thought that it was a big process,” Rodriguez said. “I love leadership and I love being a part of something at this school that does so much for the students. I’m glad that I decided to give this a shot.”

And there’s absolutely no shortage of things for Rodriguez – or Associated Student Body president Emilio Perez – to look back on favorably when reflecting on everything they were a part of during high school.

While most campuses have an organized “senior ditch day” where seniors don’t come to school and instead head to a lake or the beach to enjoy a sun-filled afternoon, Rodriguez and Perez worked with the administration to create the “senior fun in the sun day” – where rather than going to class the seniors got to spend the day around the school swimming pool having fun without having to travel.

“That was a lot of fun for everybody and we didn’t have to worry about driving to Santa Cruz or anything like that,” Perez said. “Everybody stayed right here on campus and we had a blast right here at the swimming pool. It was a blast.”

But for Rodriguez, her on-campus commitments extend much further than her role as the senior class president. She has been involved with the JROTC program, was the yearbook president and played basketball her freshman, sophomore and junior years.

Doing what she does in leadership, however, trumps anything else that she has been involved in since transferring to Lathrop High as a sophomore.

“I enjoy all of the hard work and being a part of all of the activities,” she said – noting that the class is leaving a mural in the cafeteria behind as their legacy on campus. “It’s all about giving back and being able to help out the school and provide the students with something that they’ll enjoy.”

She’ll attend Las Positas College in Livermore in the fall, and plans on transferring to the University of San Francisco where she’ll be a part of the U.S. Army ROTC program. She has aspirations of being a helicopter pilot and medic.

“I had a great time at Lathrop High School, and I know that there are going to be younger students and incoming students that will love being a part of leadership after we’re gone,” Rodriguez said. “Being involved is such a reward.”