Ripon High Valedictorian Ruth Waters is the epitome of a student-athlete.
During Friday night’s 2013 commencement ceremony at Stouffer Field, Waters represented her graduating class of 209 with a speech that segued into the presentation of the class as well as the presentation of the diplomas.
Waters will be headed to the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey on a full-ride academic scholarship and will get to play Division III basketball as well. She spoke to her fellow graduates and made light of high school’s annual commencement ceremony in an entertaining fashion.
“Why do we go through this huge ordeal of putting on these Harry Potter robes, marching around to classical music and making complete fools of ourselves with tassels in our faces,” she said. “Well, it’s because high school is a time where most of us learn and we turn from kids into adults. We learn that the tassel (was) worth the hassle.
“Congratulations Class of 2013,” Waters added. “May your dreams fly as high as your hats.”
Ripon’s Senior Class President Randy Machado delivered the welcoming address, which was followed by a song “Whenever You Remember”, performed by Anissa Sanchez and Eric Sedillo.
“Everyone has a dream,” Machado said as he ended his speech. “We all have something we wish to become. But one thing I can say about my class is…we’ll become what we want.”
Samantha Evans, who graduated as an honor roll student and earned California Scholarship Federation honors for her academic achievements, delivered the Salutatorian speech.
Out of all the graduates, 82 of the Ripon students finished their high school campaigns on the honor roll and 10 took home California Scholarship Federation honors. Those 10 students included: Anthony Baciocco, Paige Burrell, Yasmeen Elsumri, the Salutatorian Evans, Cole Herrin, Sony Keo, Julia McKoy, Imari Reynoso, Ryan Torres and the Valedictorian Waters.
Ripon’s presentation of colors was performed by JROTC members Chris Fisher, Blake Morrow, Sarah Hall and Kenny Hitchcock. Paris Allen (honor roll) presented the National Anthem to the packed audience.
Ripon Principal Lance Morrow did the official presentation of the class while the Board of Trustees (Mike Fisher, Christopher Oase, Christina Orlando, Donna Parks and Ernie Tyhust) announced the names and handed out diplomas.
Ripon’s Class of 2013 class motto, which was highlighted and referred to on a couple of occasions during the commencement ceremony, was “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”