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Graduation Ceremonies Fill Busy Week
Three evenings of graduations are scheduled this week, with ceremonies on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Wednesday, May 27 - today - will feature the graduation ceremony for students of Vista High and Sierra View. Vista is the district's continuation high school and Sierra View is its independent study component. Graduation is planned for 6:30 p.m. at the EHS Theater.

On Thursday, May 28, El Portal eighth graders will march into the high school's Engel Field (Memorial Stadium) for their graduation ceremonies, starting at 7:30 p.m. Student speakers will be Natalie Calderon, Jason Anderson and Crystal Cruz.

Friday night will feature graduation for the Class of 2009 at Escalon High School. The ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m. at Engel Field. Class co-Valedictorians Christina Wong and William Dunbar will both give speeches.

"Both are very strong academic students, both have represented the school very well," said Escalon High School Principal Joel Johannsen. "Both have very bright futures."

Wong is headed to Harvard and Dunbar to UC Merced. Among other activities, they have been involved in Key Club, mock trial, Academic Decathlon, and more.

"It's always unique when you have co-Valedictorians, especially in a school our size," noted Johannsen. "It's pretty impressive."

Christina Wong is the daughter of Lai and Hadley Wong. She will attend Harvard with an eye toward continuing on a path to law school.

She said being involved in many things has been the best part of her four years at EHS.

"Definitely the clubs and activities, that was definitely a great experience," she said. "With Key Club, you get used to the community service, in AcaDec, I like all the different things we learned about."

William Dunbar is the son of Tammy and Michael Dunbar.

"I've enjoyed associating with all my friends and learning so much from my teachers," he said of highlights of high school. "Key Club, track and field, all the different things I've done."

Ready to move on to UC Merced, Dunbar said his major is 'exploratory' at this point.

"I'm leaving all my options open," he said.

Honored to be serving as co-Valedictorians, the two gave high marks to other classmates that were also possible finalists for the top honors.

"There's been a lot of us in the running," Wong said of the abundance of scholars in the Class of 2009.

"Just this year it got narrowed down," Dunbar agreed.

Friday's graduation ceremony will be followed by the annual Sober Grad Party, available to all graduates, with doors open at 11 p.m.

Doors close at midnight and the graduates will enjoy their final evening of high school together until 5 a.m., with entertainment, games, food, prizes and fun. Tickets are $35 pre-sale, $40 at the door.

Anyone that wants to help decorate for the Sober Grad party can stop by the school this week to lend a hand.