Joshua Eberhart became the first-ever from Ripon Unified to receive a high school diploma made possible in part by a newly enacted law.
Senate Bill 172 went into effect on Jan. 1.
Eberhart, 21, had completed all the necessary classes at Harvest High, the alternative education program of RUSD.
One problem: He had passed the English Language portion of the California High School Exit Exam but not Math.
“I was getting ready to re-take Math when Mr. Samborski called,” Eberhart recalled.
Sergei Samborski is the principal at Harvest High. He noticed that SB 172 applied to one of his students.
On Oct. 7, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill that called for suspending the administration of the CHSEE as a graduation requirement as long as the student passed all the applicable requirements.
The law granted the local educational agency to issue diplomas to eligible students.
Eberhart previously attended Ripon High. Thanks to the opening of Harvest High, he was able re-focus on his educational goals during his five semesters there while achieve his milestone.
Now living in Sacramento, Eberhart was surrounded by family and friends when he received his diploma at Monday’s school board meeting.
His girlfriend Dezzerie Salinas was also there. She, too, received her diploma via SB 172 at Tracy Unified. Salinas is now attending American River College, looking to get into nursing.
Eberhart has plans of joining her at ARC, with plans of pursuing a degree in Business.
He’s currently in the area working for Federal Express.
“I don’t know where I’d be today without Harvest High,” Eberhart said.