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Ripon High senior shares some tips with Weston 8th graduates
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Weston Trustee and Citizenship award winners stand with their teachers Christine Merchant and Peggy Neeley following their graduation ceremonies. The Trustee Award winners in the first row are Laysha Macedo, Shireen Talieh and Lindsey McDonald; second row Isaac Calvo, citizenship, and Craig Valdez with a Trustee Award; third row Gregory Clark, Trustee Award, and Cassandra Chavez for citizenship. The Trustee Awards are given for having the highest academic honors during the year. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Ripon High graduating senior T.J. Hobbs was the alumni speaker for the Weston School graduation Wednesday night and spoke directly to the 49 eighth graders seated on stage,  telling them to “get involved” in their new school next year.

“There is a place in high school where people share your passion – sometimes you just have to put in the time to look at what’s happening,” he said.  “There are clubs and organizations that can fit every person such as Ag, JROTC, Tech Club, choir and a whole lot more.”

Hobbs continued telling the grads to “be confident, not arrogant and don’t belittle yourself by exposing  yourself through negative influences,” he stressed.  “Don’t do drugs, don’t party – just avoid doing foolish stuff.  It’s a waste of time, money and potentially damaging to your reputation,” he said.

The larger size of a high school is a blessing, he added.  It means more opportunities and more potential for involvement.  High school is not a place to fear, and teachers are some of the nicest people you’ll meet, he noted.

Hobbs said his most important piece of advice is to stand up for yourself and others, don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in and don’t let people manipulate you, he concluded.

Five graduates were singled out for the coveted Trustee Awards for excellent academic results during their final year.  Each received a plaque to mark their successes at Weston.

Those included Maci Herrin, Gregory Clark Laysha Macedo, Lindsey McDonald Shireen Talieh and Craig Valdez.  The class citizenship awards went to Isaac Calvo and Cassandra Chavez.

Teachers for the eighth grade are Christine Merchant and Peggy Neeley.

Class members are Savanna Alves, Alec Kelley, Logan Gioffre, Cassandra Chavez, Stevie McIntosh, Elisabeth Ferreira, Madison Sanford, Malia Taylor Chavez, Norberto Muratalla, Dylan Pendley, Sabastian Mora, Ciara Thompson, Victoria Gunter, Cody Raichel, Daniel Hassler, Alexis Hyer, Naci Herrin, Robert Machado, Giacomo Robbins, Tony Aleman, John Eicher, Paul Johnson, Jesse Liesenfeld, Quinn Cunha, Shireen Talieh, Dale Fisher, Alexandra Garcia, Chole Ward, Adrian Zarco, Devan McGowan, Madison Rodrigues, Gregory Clark, Laysha Macedo, Rene Ortega, Isaac Calvo, Gabriela Carrasquel, Joseph Sparano, Mateo Villalobos, Derric Roy, Lindsey McDonald, Dominique Varelas, Degan Martin, Nathan Gunnarson, Craig Valdez, Paul Gunning, Mariah Hernandez, Francisco Perez, and Roland Davis.