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Schools Schedule Graduation Ceremonies
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Graduation is finally here. Riverbank schools will close at noon today, Wednesday, May 25. Throughout the town all ages of students from kindergarten to high school are parading to the podium, tossing their tassels and closing their textbooks for the long summer vacation.

Cardozo Middle School has set its promotion for today at 7 p.m. on the blacktop behind the school. Principal Alice Solis will declare her 160 eighth grade students ready for their next stage of education - at a high school.

At the grade schools of California Avenue, Rio Altura and Mesa Verde there will be promotion ceremonies this morning, with Rio Altura's kindergarten graduating at 9:30 a.m. and their peers at California Avenue School doing the same thing at 10:30 a.m.

Riverbank High is set to graduate the Class of 2011 on Thursday, May 26 starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium, when Principal Christine Facella will declare to Superintendent of Schools Ken Geisick that 146 students of her school have met the educational requirements of the Riverbank Unified School District and the State Board of Education.

The program follows traditional lines with graduating seniors entering the gymnasium to the strains of Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" and opening ceremonies led by the color guard of the school's Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC).

Associated Student Body President Tempest Robertson and Marrissa Lopez will sing the national anthem, then Robertson and Senior Class President Angela Duran lead the pledge to the flag and give the welcome followed by the announcement of senior awards and scholarships by Counselor Denny Carl.

Sergio Rocha is the salutatorian and due to make the opening address that will be followed by the presentation of the class by Facella and its acceptance by Geisick. Then trustees of the board will take turns presenting each graduating senior with a diploma.

Benjamin Hodges and Anna Rosales are both named valedictorians but Rosales has chosen not to speak. Hodges will give the farewell address just before the graduates file out to the tune of the Recessional.

Of the three students that lead the school in academics, Hodges holds a 4.6 grade point average, takes advanced placement college courses in English, calculus and US History and is due to enter the US Air Force Academy in Colorado this fall on a full ride scholarship to become an officer. At RHS he has been this year's commander of the NJROTC and a leading runner on the cross country team that qualified for the state competition, besides running the one and two mile events during the track season. His parents are Jesse and Jennifer Hodges.

Rosales holds a 3.89 GPA and is headed for college at the University of California at Davis to study animal science. She is a member of the school's California Scholastic Federation, took part in the Academic Decathlon, belongs to the Trinity Club, and participated in Future Farmers of America in her freshman and sophomore years. Her father is Antonio Rosales and her mother is deceased.

Rocha, with a GPA of 3.81, is due to attend University of California at Los Angeles to study biology, particularly the growth of plants and how they are affected by soil types, minerals, fertilizers and other factors. At RHS, he was named an All Star in football and also placed second on the track and field team in the shot put. His parents are Sergio and Guadalupe Rocha.