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Words of inspiration for Lathrop 8th graders during promotion ceremony
Lathrop Elementary eighth grader Juan Mata proudly poses for paparazzi family members after receiving his Certificate of Promotion during Mondays morning ceremonies. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

LATHROP – The Lathrop Elementary School 8th grade class of 2013 will have plenty of inspirational words to see them through as they journey on to the next level of education at Lathrop High School.

The nuggets of wisdom came from President Barack Obama, Lathrop High’s Principal Mike Horwood, Lathrop Elementary Principal David Silveira, and eighth graders Alexa Camarena and Justin Barber who were the featured student speakers.

“You will fall and stumble, but you will stand up. We all choose to achieve great success,” were the words in the congratulatory letter from the White House.

Horwood, who delivered the official words of welcome to the future students of the campus west of Interstate 5, prefaced his message by sharing the inspirational story of a runner in the 1972 Olympics. It was the story of a runner who would not give up, who finished the marathon run 12 hours after he began. That’s what Spartans are known for: dedication to excellence and hard work, Harwood said. Lathrop is the Home of the Spartans.

After singing their praises to the teachers who guided them through their eight years at Lathrop School, student speakers Alexa Camarena and Justin Baber exhorted their fellow eighth graders to “do your best and stay focused.”

From the Lathrop Elementary principal came the words meant to buoy up the spirits of the 107 eighth graders, the soon-to-be Lathrop High’s Class of 2017: “In four years you will be adults. You are on your way to a successful future. We’re proud of you.”

Manteca Unified Board of Education president Don Scholl and Trustee Manuel Medeiros were among the district dignitaries present to congratulate the eighth graders as they received their certificates of promotion. Families and friends of the graduating students filled the school’s community gymnasium to standing capacity during the morning promotion exercises Monday morning.

Leading the Pledge of Allegiance was eighth grader Jesus Gomez. Singing the National Anthem and performing inspirational music pieces during the ceremony were the members of the fourth-grade to fifth-grade choir orchestrated by director Mike Mulidor.