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Weston, Ripona mark 8th grade graduations
Courtney Jane Sheppard takes a closer look at the trustee’s award she received during Ripona’s graduation Thursday night in Ripon. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
RIPON – Ripona Elementary Class President Chuy Calvo seemed steadfast as he walked up to receive his citizenship award Thursday night during the school’s 8th grade graduation, but by the time he actually received the plaque he couldn’t help but smile.

And it was a smile that was reflected on the faces of dozens of graduates who sat upon the stage at Ripona Thursday night anxiously awaiting the chance to start the next chapter in their lives.

After Calvo’s welcome remarks, the entire class joined in unison to sing “You’ll Never Be Alone” to highlight the bond that the students shared during their time at the campus. They’d all unify again at the end of the ceremony to perform Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” – a fitting closing ballad for what will soon be Ripon High School’s Class of 2014.

Honored alumni Caleb Christian and Lacey Clark also offered a few words of wisdom for the students.

There might not have been a more fitting song for the Weston Elementary School class of 2010 to sing than the powerful “Lean of Me” – marking the last normal night for the students who will soon be a part of Ripon High School’s populace.

Weston Class President Lauren Brown welcomed friends, family, and her fellow graduates with opening remarks, but it was the advice of alumni speaker Shane Bunting that might have resonated the most with the students who fulfilled all of the necessary requirements to advance on to high school.

Ripon Unified School District Trustee Mike Fisher and Weston Principal Lisa Fereria presented the graduates formally to a rousing round of applause from the audience that packed into the Weston gymnasium.