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Now its my turn to be the proud parent
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Come this time of year, I’m usually bombarded by the traditional tune played at graduations and promotional ceremonies, “Pomp and Circumstance.”

As a reporter, I’ve covered hundreds of high school graduations and eighth-grade promotional ceremonies over the years.

But now it’s my turn.

Josh, my 13-year-old son, is gearing up for his eighth-grade “pomp and circumstance” this week.

Finally, I get to play the role of one of the proud parents in attendance at today’s baccalaureate and the commencement exercises on Thursday night at St. Luke’s Catholic School in Stockton.

I’m also looking forward to going along on the class trip to Paramount’s Great America theme park as a chaperone on Monday. We’ll be aboard the ACE train from the Central Valley to Santa Clara during this all-day function.

However, Josh’s eighth-grade promotion ceremony is the priority.

He’s looking forward to sharing the moment with the classmates he’s known for the past eight years and longer.

While Josh attended kindergarten at El Dorado School – at the time, the Stockton Unified site operated on a year-round education calendar – I was strongly encouraged by family to move him to a religious-based program not to mention the traditional school calendar with the long summer months when I suddenly became a single parent.

And for us, St. Luke’s was a logical choice. After all, he went to preschool there and he still knew some of the kids from back then.

In the years that followed, I’ve had the opportunity to play an active role in my son’s education, creating the time by sometimes juggling my work schedule.

For starters, I can remember serving as a chaperone when his first-grade class took a field trip to the public library.

In the ensuing years, I accompanied his class on visits to the strawberry patch, the dentist office, and a matinee performance of the Huck Finn musical at the University of the Pacific.

Fortunately, I also had the pleasure of becoming good friends with some of the other parents from the school. In turn, we would hang out at those out-of-town class trips to the state Capitol building in Sacramento and San Jose’s Tech Museum.

In some ways, Josh’s eighth-grade graduation also brings an end to my involvement at the school.

He really enjoyed his time at the school.

I know because I had a chance to witness some of those cherished memories first hand.