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Woodward, St. Anthonys 8th graders mark milestone
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From left, Monica Vierra, Sabrina Riella, Emily McElrath, Odezza Javier, and Trina Pelicas gear up for their eighth-grade promotion ceremony for St. Anthonys School. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Once a Mustang, always a Mustang.

Those were the words echoed more than once at Walter Woodward School’s eighth-grade promotion event on Wednesday.

Ninety-eight students on this day earned their ticket to move on to high school, fulfilling the necessary requirements – proficiency, citizenship and attendance, according to Principal Sherrie Jamero.

Added student body President Morgan Teixeira: “High school will be different but we’re ready for the change.”

For that, she credited her time at Woodward for helping prepare her for what lies ahead.

Teixeira and Rielly Bergquist were both student body officers. The latter was elected publicity director.

She shared her thoughts about this special moment in her young life to family, friends, teachers and special guests seated inside the multi-purpose facility.

“We had countless memories (at Woodward),” Bergquist said. “Now we walk hand-in-hand down the same path.”

Jamero also announced some of the special honors bestowed to members of the Class of 2011, including the Citizenship Awards (Mailee Danao and Edward Gomez) and Outstanding Achievement in Language Arts (Marisa Benham), Social Studies (Sage Vega), Drama (Bianca Arao), Band (Isabella Garcia-Mendez), Choir (Ashley Tejada) and Algebra / Science (Yok Jing Ma).

Ma, Benham, Danao, Arao, Garcia-Mendez, along with Bryce Ison, Marissa LaQuaglia, Taralynn Murphy, Amina Edache, Tai Lin Hampton, Fechi Nkwocha, and Mahir Pepic were announced the Walter Woodward Honor Roll for the past year. Each had 4.0 grade point averages.

 Gomez, Vega, Bergquist, and Teixeira had 3.99 to 3.30 GPAs. They were joined on that list with Ihana Calderon, Ben Inan, Anthony Kieffaber, Kaelea Lucas, Kristian Plares, Dai Elizabeth Ma, Lechi Nkwocha, Ellaha Lail, Tatianna Long, Michael Lopez and Jordyn Rich.

In addition, former principal, Roger Goatcher, who is Manteca Unified’s Senior Director of Student Services and Special Ed., was back to hand out the promotional papers.

“Once a Mustang, always a Mustang,” he said.

St. Anthony’s School

At St. Anthony of Padua Church, 24 eighth-grade students were promoted to high school at the special faith-based commencement exercise.

Father Patrick Walker, pastor of St. Anthony, was proud of the group.

“I can remember when I first started here,” he said. “These students were in fifth grade.

“They look much different now – they’re ready for high school.”

The promotion ceremony included Zachary Gosney providing the introduction to the Liturgy, Dwight Jackson giving the first reading, and Janina Pineda, Monica Vierra, and Carlos Mejia helping with the responsorial psalm.

 Francisco Alcantar and Luis Torres served as candle bearers while Andrew Creighton, Odezza Javier, Mateo Hernandez, Christopher Philip, Jacob Gonzales, Devin Nunez, Bridget Lauer and Shawnicy Griffin did their part for the prayers of the faithful.

Katie Andrews, Sabrina Riella, Trina Pelicas, Emily McElrath, Fidel Perez, Elizabeth Melgoza, and Rebecca Bueno carried out the offertory gifts.

In addition, valedictorians Ashley Mathew and Emily Ritter shared their reflections of St. Anthony.