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Ripon High graduates collect diplomas at drive-thru event
ripon diploma
Gavin Black displays his goodie bag during Friday's drive-thru graduation at Ripon High. - photo by

It may not have been the traditional graduation that seniors had dreamt about but Friday's drive-thru diploma event certainly served its purpose.

"It was good," said Evelyn Bernardino Jimenez, who is spending the summer of COVID-19 earning extra money working.

Like most of her classmates -- according to school officials, 207 from the Class of 2020 earned diplomas, but not all made it due to prior commitments -- she made her way along the line of cars, receiving congratulations from the likes of Ripon Unified School District Superintendent Ziggy Robeson, RHS Principal Keith Rangel, Vice Principal Victor Ramirez, and RUSD Trustee Kit Oase, to name a few.

School and district officials had safety in mind, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing during uncertain times.

As for Bernardino Jimenez, she plans to attend Modesto Junior College, looking to study Psychology.

Gavin Black also enjoyed his special moment.

He rode with family members for his drive-thru graduation. Black was thrilled to receive his goodie bag to go along with a large photo of himself compliments of the school and, of course, his diploma.

Earlier in the day, the top academic students, valedictorian Kiana Mikami and salutatorian Nico Ilardi, addressed their classmates via Facebook with their graduation speeches.

Class President Ana Perez acknowledged those online with her Welcome Address.

Rangel had the honor of providing the Presentation of the Class and the Acceptance of the Class.

The graduation program, in addition, offered up the 2020 Class Moto by Mortensen and the senior class officers: "Through our Unity, we Stay Connected. Resilient in our accolades, driven for the Future. The Journey ahead remains open as we say Goodbye to our present."