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Pathway Moves Onward, Upward For Graduating Riverbank Seniors
Proud school administrators hold up a banner created from pictures of a slide show used during the Senior Signing Day assembly on Friday. From left, Riverbank Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp and his wife, RHS Counselor Nancy Garcia and RHS Principal Dr. Sean Richey show the banner, with the slogan It Doesnt End Here, and photos of many of the soon-to-be graduates in front of the colleges they have chosen to further their education. Virginia Still/The News

With the end of the school year upon us, seniors at Riverbank High School will be tasked with figuring out what their next step will be. Some students already have plans for their future and have signed with Universities, technical schools, junior colleges, and the military. To celebrate the next chapter for the seniors the school hosted a College Shout Out assembly on Friday, May 18 at the Ray Fauria Gym honoring students that are furthering their education, signing an acceptance agreement.

“The assembly was an excellent way of recognizing and encouraging our seniors as they move on with their life after high school,” stated Dr. Daryl Camp, Riverbank Unified School District Superintendent. “It’s always important to slow down at times and reflect on various accomplishments.”

“I love the College Signing Day Assembly,” added Dr. Sean Richey, RHS Principal. “This is a special way to recognize the hard work our seniors have put in for the last 13 years; and, it is an opportunity to reemphasize the importance of hard work to the other classes. It’s a tangible reminder of what every student is working towards.”

Nancy Garcia, the Instructional Coach/AVID District Director for Riverbank Unified School District, has organized the event over the years. Richey explained that the idea began when Garcia was the English department chair at the high school and wanted to do something special to highlight the students pursuing college as a building block to their future.

“She wanted to do something special to highlight the college-going culture we are trying to build and the post-secondary aspirations of all our graduating seniors,” said Richey. “Over 90 percent of our graduates have post-secondary plans. We fully expect, however, that the undecided graduates will decide on some form of post-secondary training over the summer. We plan on having an administrator or counselor available at least one day per week this summer to assist our graduates in moving on to their post-secondary plans.”

The RHS band played a few songs while students took a seat in their specific class section. Staff and others were at tables that were set up for the different schools including Modesto Junior College, Stanislaus State, Stanford, UC Berkley, UC Riverside, Morehouse College, Fresno State, Sacramento State, Paul Mitchell School, and the United States Marine Corps.

“First and foremost, it is inspiring,” expressed Richey. “It is incredible to see where all these graduates are planning to go and what they are planning to do with the next stage in their lives. For the other classes, it is motivating to see their friends, siblings, and relatives get recognized for all of their hard work.”

The assembly began with confessionals on a screen where students were shown with a sign that had feelings on one side and then the other side with where they are at now and where they are going to school.

There are over 170 students graduating this year from RHS and several students are furthering their education as they were called up to sign their letter of intent for each school.

After the seniors were honored for their future plans, they left the assembly. In symbolic fashion for the progress of time and the moving up a grade, the juniors took a seat where the seniors were, the sophomores took a seat where the juniors were and the freshmen sat where the sophomores used to be. Richey explained that it helped make the transition more real and allowed them to envision graduating.

The excitement was high in the gymnasium that day from the students and faculty with applause and cheers that rang out loud.

“I’m really proud of all students who have decided to continue their learning beyond high school in college, the military or technical schools,” added Camp. “It was also great to host the Morehouse College table where I attended and where my son, Kendall, has decided to attend and to see Ryan signing his letter of intent to attend Stanford University. Our Riverbank students will be represented at some of the finest institutions of higher learning in this state and throughout the nation.”

“Holding an assembly of this nature is a great example of the college- and career-ready culture we have built at Riverbank High School,” said Richey. “RHS was recently recognized as being among the top 10 percent of high schools in the United States by US News and World Report and as the second highest rated high school in Stanislaus County. RHS is a great school, with a great staff, and great students. I am proud to be a part of this school and this district.”