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Graduations Scheduled
The end of the school year and accompanying graduation ceremonies are on the agenda this week with all local schools closing today, May 23, about noon. Cardozo Middle School will hold its promotion ceremony this evening and Riverbank High stage a traditional graduation tomorrow night, May 24.

Cardozo will promote all its eighth graders, 169 of them, during an outdoor event slated to begin at 7 p.m. on the blacktop behind the school.

Riverbank High will graduate 132 students in a ceremony scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium.

Among student speakers at RHS, who are chosen for leading in academics with grade point averages of 4.0-plus and contributions in sports and student activities, the salutatorian is Megan Larson and the valedictorians Courtney Floyd, Cassandra Gilbert and Jamel Lehyan.

As salutatorian and Associated Student Body president, Larson will start the national anthem and join senior class president Lisette Reyes in leading the pledge to the flag and giving the welcome.

Valedictorians Floyd, Gilbert and Lehyan will combine to give the farewell address.

Larson is headed for Sacramento State University to study criminal justice and psychology in hopes of joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and in particular the behavioral analysis unit (BAU).

At school she has played volleyball all four years, run track for two years and played softball for one besides serving on the academic decathlon team for one year, being in the drama club, the Interact community service club and leadership group for two years.

Asked about her most vivid memory of high school, she noted: "I will never forget almost burning down the school office," explaining she was heating some macaroni in the nurse's office behind the district office and failed to put in any water.

"I have enjoyed high school a lot but it's gone by very fast," she added.

Floyd wants to make a career in forensic toxicology and plans to attend Radford University in Tennessee, which has a very good chemistry school. At RHS she has played golf and belonged to the drama club for four years and been in leadership class this year besides taking many advanced placement (AP) classes.

The fun things she remembers are the camaraderie of riding in the golf team van enroute to away matches and often studying way past midnight to finish her papers for AP classes.

Gilbert is planning to pursue a degree in biochemistry at University of California at Berkeley and then attend medical school to become a pharmacist.

She has played softball at RHS for four years and belonged to the California Scholastic Federation (CSF), leadership class and golf team for two years each.

"The main thing I remember is breaking my leg during the golf season," said Gilbert. "It happened while I was playing softball for a club team on a weekend. I was trying to steal third base. I remember I had to call the coach and tell him I wouldn't be able to play golf on Monday."

Lehyan is headed for the University of California at Davis to study for a degree in civil engineering and start a career in that field. He will be the first in his family to go to college.

Three years as a football player and one year in baseball, he also has belonged to the CSF for three years.

"My best memories are of this year's football season, how it really came together and how we played together," he said. "That was after a terrible season in my junior year. We transformed the program. But if I do sports in college, it will be basketball."

He also fondly recalled "flocking" people's lawns with imitation pink flamingos in an escapade for high schoolers started by AP Home Economics teacher John Tivald.

"Enjoy your high school years," he recommended. "You will never get those years back."

For Cardozo Middle School, the student speakers are class president Joshua Felix, who will give the opening address and Sierra Nabors and Kathryn Searway, who share the duties of valedictorian.