Starting with the senior graduates of Gateway, Escalon’s Charter Academy on Wednesday morning and continuing with Vista High and El Portal Middle School, there was plenty of pomp and circumstance in Escalon this past week.
Charter Academy graduates were Stockton Buss, Emely Morales, Adrianna Ruiz and Christopher Vasquez. They were celebrated in a small ceremony on May 29 in the Escalon Unified School District board room.
Buss has set his future goal as becoming a child psychologist, while Morales wants to study cosmetology and take business classes. Ruiz plans to look into becoming a child counselor and Vasquez will be enlisting in the Army, where he plans to serve as a combat medic.
Wednesday evening, in the EHS Performing Arts Center, the students of Vista High School gathered for their graduation ceremony. Graduates were Elyzabeth Goodman-Avila, Jose Lepe, Jesus Lopez, Makayla Morris, Yasmin Nava-Inocencio, Johnathon Reyes, Elijah Sellars-Simoes, Joshua Sigman, Renee Yepez, Kaylie Herrero, Johnny Mendez and Grant Pearce. Morris, Nava-Inocencio and Yepez graduated as juniors.
“This is a very special evening for you and your graduate,” Vista Principal George Megenney told the crowd. “We are excited for our students.”
Student speaker was Elyzabeth ‘Liz’ Goodman-Avila, who said she was proud of her fellow students for their achievements.
“Yes, we’re in continuation school but when has that ever stopped us from achieving anything?” she asked rhetorically.
She also received the Student Achievement Award for the year and all graduates in attendance were presented with their diplomas by Megenney and then congratulated by school board members and administrators prior to moving their tassels.
Thursday night, May 30, the eighth grade graduates of El Portal Middle School had their time to shine. Principal Mark Vos said they will continue their educational career as part of a ‘four pronged attack’ with the community, school staff, their family and themselves all working together toward their success.
“You’re not alone in this endeavor,” Vos said.
El Portal retirees Donna O’Brien and Claudia Alves were recognized and the Classified Employee of the Year honor was presented to Joe Coelho, who has worked in the district since 2001.
Graduate and Student Body President Bailey Dugo told her fellow graduates to “Try hard, do your best and treasure each moment” while fellow student speaker Kevin Romero admitted he never thought he would make it, starting off sixth grade with little interest in school. He gained traction in seventh grade, though, and thanked his family, teachers and friends for helping him find the right path and giving him “faith, hope and confidence” to become an eighth grade graduate.