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East Union Graduation
‘We’ll always be a Lancer’
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Noe Reyes and Christian Ramirez are all smiles while waiting to make their way into Dino Cunial Field Thursday night for the East Union High School graduation. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
Their lives will go in different directions as they each embark on a unique journey that will mark a new beginning.
But on Thursday night, the East Union High School Class of 2018 was unified – standing together on Dino Cunial Field as they soaked in their last, windy night as secondary students before embarking on their lives individually.
And Haylee Agueda, who was selected by the faculty to deliver an address as a representative of the senior class, summarized it perfectly.
“No matter where we end up,” Agueda said, “we will all look back and we will all have one thing in common – we’ll always be a Lancer.”
Braving cooler-than-expected temperatures and wind that made that made keeping caps and gowns from flowing freely a challenge, the more than 300 students that earned their high school diploma were all ears as Valedictorian Kevin Green walked them through his address that included thanking the Salutatorians, Hunter Maestretti and Matthew Pilkay, for not covering up their tests for the past four years.
Green – who introduced himself to the class as “the big nerd” – had words of encouragement for his fellow graduates as they prepare to embark on different journeys.
“There will be struggles, just as there have been struggles in the past,” Green said. “I know all of you have the power and the potential to overcome those obstacles, just as you have done before.”
And while he got a shout-out in Green’s speech, Pilkay had some words of his own for his fellow graduates before making the walk across the stage himself and receiving his high school diploma after years of hard work.
“I’m going to give you the only piece of advice that I’m qualified to give,” Pilkay said. “Cherish these short, unforgettable moments – they are rare in the grand scheme of life.
“But they are what define each and every one of our lives.”
The event began with the presentation of the colors by the East Union High School JROTC, and the National Anthem was sung by Grace Hedin and Selena Galloway – both members of the East Union Choir.
Ragan Fowzer welcomed the graduates and the families to the ceremony, while Siona Vellurattil introduced special guests that included a foreign exchange student that graduated with the class, and a teacher that spent 32 years at East Union High School and will be retiring.
Victor Romo, the ASB President, also requested a moment of since for Dylan “Antonio” Brown – a member of the East Union Class of 2018 that was tragically killed when somebody fired a single bullet into a house he was standing in.
An empty chair in the front row of the graduates symbolized Brown’s absence from the rite of passage.
“On his Instagram page there was a quote – ‘starting from the bottom,’” Romo said to the crowd before asking for the moment of silence. “That was us – we started at the bottom and worked our way to the top, and Antonio will never get the chance to get there with us.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.