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Ripona graduates celebrate with Stand by Me lyrics
Katie Willey accepts her diploma from Ripon Unified Board member Ernie Tyhurst. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

Ripona Elementary School promoted its eighth-grade class on Wednesday evening in a ceremony presided over by Principal Dante Alvarez and Ripon Unified Board of Trustees member Ernie Tyhurst. 

The Class of 2014 was comprised of 45 students, including Class President Mary Lehman and Vice President Desiree Cruz. Both student leaders spoke at the ceremony with Lehman delivering the welcome speech and Cruz introducing the evening’s honored alumni: Ripon High graduates Ashlynn Rhodes and Jesse Calvo.

Alvarez and Tyhurst each took turns honoring the Class of 2014’s best and brightest, and then teamed back up to present and award diplomas to the graduates. 

In a show of camaraderie and ever-lasting friendship, the Class of 2014 chose “Stand by Me” as its graduation theme, and the motto “I won’t be afraid; no, I won’t be afraid just as long as you stand by me” greeted guests on the program. 

The graduates are Breeana Rachelle Alvarez Huckell, Jennifer Barrera, Adriana Louise Beeler, Giselle Castaneda, Gabrielle Coleman, Desiree Cruz Sampson, Abigail Rose Eskes, Anna Raquel Pena, Jacob Michael Guinan, Jessica Lynn Harlan, Matthew Hix, Nathan Floyd Leslie, Estella Marie Madrigal, Genevieve Shavonne Maurice, Barbare McCrory, Cecilia Faith Miller, Austin Christopher Olmos, Ryan Tuan Pham, Sandra Patricia Reyes, Nathaniel Nelson Rowe, Adam Matthew Sands, Katie Joyce Willey, Christopher Allen Winter, Christina Rose Reynolds, Devan Batterton, April Campos, Savannah Lorraine Clark, Jessica Mackenzie Cruz, Amy Kayslynn Dillon, Samantha Kay Fox, Victor Gonzalez, Liam Sean Haney,  Roberto Rosalio Hernandez, Mary Standish Lehman, Ariana Halia Kui Kahi Loa, Jose Karlos Marquez, Cyanne Nicole McKibben, Vanessa Lea Medrano, Hayley Christine Nicolosi, Benson Bodie Pali, Juventino Raygoza, Jenna Louise Rosendin, Peter Matthew Rumble, Madeline Edla Wilkins, and Brandon Gregory Williamson.