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Rainbow graces Sierra High’s grad ceremonies
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Jasmine Vergara, Kara Kirby, Bryanna Gonzalez and Jennifer Rivera have a seat while waiting for their chance to graduate high school Friday night at Sierra High School. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
The smattering of raindrops that fell at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium Friday didn’t do anything to dampen the spirts of the almost 350 graduating seniors of the Sierra High School Class of 2018.
In fact, the unexpected weather – complete with dark clouds and overcast skies that made the night seem to come much sooner than it did – created a backdrop that couldn’t have been more perfect to symbolize the completion of one chapter of the lives of the graduates and the start of another.
As graduate Cameron Allen strapped his guitar over his shoulder and prepared to sing “Closing Curtain” – an original song he wrote about the end of their collective performance as high school students – he pointed out the rainbow only grew larger as he performed to his fellow graduates and the thousands of people who packed into the stadium to watch.
At the end of the night it was about reflection as much as it was outlook and opportunity – something that each of the speakers for the evening captured with their remarks.
UC Santa Barbara-bound Senior Class President Emily Cunial – who was introduced by Principal Steve Clark as “the most accomplished senior class president the school has ever had” – reminisced about her time with her fellow classmates but focused on the tremendous opportunities that lay before everybody who walked across the stage Friday night.
“These memories will be carried with us forever,” Cunial said. “But I think that bigger and better things are in the immediate future and down the road for all 350 of us.”
As the co-Salutatorian with a 4.37 GPA, James Quiaoit Jr. spoke to his fellow graduates about the future, what they can expect moving into a new era in their lives, and which outlook will best suit them as they take steps towards independence and self-discovery.
“This graduation – our graduation – is not only a celebration of what we have accomplished thus far,” Quiaoit said. “It’s a time to not only remember all that we have accomplished so far, but to look forward to the future with optimism and enthusiasm for what it holds.”
And while she may have been a fresh face to even some of her fellow graduates, the Valedictorian capped the program by recalling her own trepidation about learning that she would relocating halfway across the country at the end of her junior year to start what should have been her swan song in a new place, with new faces.
In her address to her fellow graduates, USC-bound Valedictorian Nadira Noor – who in all spent only one year as a Sierra High School Timberwolf before graduating with a 4.53 grade point average – admitted that when she arrived on campus she had no intention of getting to know anybody, or to get involved with any extracurriculars outside of what she needed to get into college.
But after doing “phenomenal things with equally phenomenal people,” Noor said she fell in love with her surroundings and couldn’t help but feel like she was a part of a campus with a culture that accepted everybody – even those who didn’t want to be accepted as they first walked through the gates.
“If you don’t remember anything that I’ve said tonight, remember this – there is no such thing as a life that is better than yours,” Noor said. “Take advantage of the knowledge that you have been given.”
Also performing was graduate Alyssa Patterson, who sang Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” and graduate David Tolman, who performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The Sierra High School band performed both the processional “Pomp and Circumstance” as well as the recessional when students left the field for the last time.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.