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Ripona School 8th graders moving on to start high school education
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From left, Amanda Mulder, Kendra Yanak, Hanaaloha Lee, Hoku Lee, and Marissa Poyorena huddle together at the eighth-grade promotion event at Ripona School. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Eighth-grade students at Ripona School shared a bittersweet moment on Thursday.

Not only did they bid adieu to their years at the Ripon Unified school site but also to one of their favorite teachers.

Kim Johnson, an eighth-grade teacher, is retiring after 27 years.

“She’ll fondly be remembered,” said class President Courtney Slamon. “I’ll miss her witty comebacks.”

Slamon recalled her days as kindergartener, in particular, the first day of school coupled with her first-ever teacher.

She also had fond memories of science camp in sixth grade. “We learned how to take one-minute showers,” Slamon said.

But she was all about treasuring the moments of the past year. Ditto that for her classmates.

All told, the 45 members from the Class of 2013 relished their time at this special promotional event.

They also presented Superintendent Louise Johnson with a framed and autographed photograph – signatures were that of the entire class – of the time spent with her during their recent San Francisco trip.

“We hope you will cherish this picture,” said Slamon.

Kathy Coleman, who served as the interim principal for the past several weeks, not only made the presentation of citizenship awards but also handled the formal presentation of promoting the class.

India Chakraverty and Samuel Beeler were the special guest speakers. Class Vice President Kylie Varelas had the honor of announcing the two alumni of the school.

Superintendent Johnson, in addition, announced the Trustee Awards and also helped out with the presentation of the promotion certificates.