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Weston Ranch High bestows diplomas on 289 graduates
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WESTON RANCH – By definition, a commencement is a beginning.

“We’re here to celebrate a beginning,” Weston Ranch High Principal Jose Fregoso said Friday at the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2010. “You’re entering a new stage of life which will again require hard work.”

Hard work is what earned diplomas for the estimated 289 seniors at special event held before a standing-room only crowd at the WRHS stadium.

According to Fregoso, who is a first-year principal, they began their journey 13 years ago, receiving the support of family, friends, and educators along the way.

“Our crowning glory is receiving our high school diploma,” valedictorian George Zhang said.

Added co-salutatorian Jessica Barry: “It seems as if the past four years just flew by. WRHS was more than an educational institution – it was our home away from home.”

The Class of 2010 also celebrated its ethnic diversity.

“Diversity is what set us apart from other schools,” said Alejandro Barron, who was the other salutatorian.
“It’s what shaped us to who we are,” said student body President Shelbey Cornell.

It was the first time in Weston Ranch High’s five years of celebrating graduation that two salutatorians were produced from the same class, Barry said.

The classmates entered the stadium together for one last time – the “Home of the Cougars” scoreboard clock registered ’20:10’ – with the playing of “Pomp and Circumstance” by the WRHS Band under the direction of Joseph Barron. Other musical selections included the choir singing “For Good” and the band playing “I’ll Be There.”

The Star-Spangled Banner was performed by Rachel De Libertis, with Valerie Kelter leading in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Cornell was joined by Hailey McCartney, ASB vice president, in her speech.

Darla Butterfield and Stayce Baptista announced the 13 recipients of the California Scholarship Federation’s lifetime seal bearers.

Fregoso, in addition, introduced special guests representing the Manteca Unified School District. Included were board members Rex Holiday and Manuel Medeiros, Assistant Superintendent Don Halseth, and director of secondary education Clara Schmiedt.

Schmiedt, who received a warm welcome from the crowd, was the former WRHS principal who helped lead the school during some tough times.

Throughout the event, students exhibited their Cougar pride.

“I will always be proud to say that I am a graduate of the Class of 2010 from Weston Ranch High,” Barry said.