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Lathrop 8th graders raise the bar
LATHROP--Grad Pic 2
Jefry Raudales Cabrera, Shawn Cummings and Harvey Cuellar grab some shade before making their entrance at the Lathrop Elementary promotion ceremony Tuesday morning. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

LATHROP – If dress is an important part of succeeding, the Lathrop Elementary 8th graders are headed straight to the Forbes list.

With their class president in a tuxedo and numerous boys sporting bowties, the school that led the charge in the district to move away from the ornate “graduation” ceremonies and into a more toned down event raised the bar on personal style on Tuesday morning.

They strutted. They strolled.

And with a family breakfast to kick off the morning – one of the ideas that Lathrop Elementary incorporated when they overhauled the program – the ceremony was unmistakably the evolution of an idea designed to put everybody on equal footing.

Emmanuel Planas, the tuxedo-clad student body president, encouraged his classmates to strive for success as they each embark on the next leg of their life journey. He quoted Bruce Lee – “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing you’ll never get it done” – and he urged each of them to push for their respective goals and not to take anything less.

Eriqa Joi Ponferrada also spoke, and Lathrop High School Vice Principal Bill Pinol delivered the commencement address.

The class was accepted by Manteca Unified Director of Elementary Education Cheryl Meeker, Manteca Unified Board of Education Vice President Evelyn Moore and Manteca Unified Trustee Nancy Teicheira.