Hats off to the Adelante Continuation High School graduating Class of 2015 that walked the stage on Wednesday, May 20 at the Ray Fauria Gym. Although the class was small the message given at the graduation ceremony was big with the “never give up” and “don’t quit” attitude that was expressed throughout the event.
Continuation is defined as the act of carrying on to a further point as these students have shown to be true and fitting for their school name, Adelante, which in Spanish means ahead or forward.
The processional began with a welcome from AHS Principal, Rebecca Evans followed by the presentation of the colors by the Riverbank High School NJROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps), and then the music of the National Anthem, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Selina Vigil.
The Valedictorian honor was held by Matthew Baca, who is looking to pursue law enforcement as a career.
“It feels great to graduate,” stated Baca. “I worked really hard and it is really worth it in the end.”
Javier Contreras was introduced at the ceremony as the Salutatorian and led the graduating 2015 class in the moving of the tassels tradition, signifying the recognition of being a graduate.
The student speaker was Ivan Ortega who expressed appreciation for the support of the teachers and staff at Adelante and was a recipient of the Gloria Bracco scholarship award. Ortega applied for the scholarship which included writing an autobiography. He plans to attend college and major in mechanical engineering. Although he was nervous about speaking in front of the crowd, Ortega articulated himself very well.
“My heart was jumping out of my chest,” admitted Ortega of being in the spotlight.
Ortega offered some advice to fellow students, “work hard and get past the negativity because there will be negativity but it is just an obstacle, and you will get past it.”
Adelante teacher Fred Wood gave a speech to the students and families in attendance at the graduation ceremony where he reminded the students that “quitters never win and winners never quit.”
Diplomas were then distributed to the students by the Riverbank Unified School District Board of Trustees: President Susan Taylor, members Elizabeth Meza, Connie Gilbert and Ana Vigil and Assistant Superintendent Christine Facella.
After Riverbank Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp officially accepted the graduates, they made their way to the back of the gym with their heads held high, cheering, hugging and with a final celebratory toss of their graduation caps in the air the ceremony ended.