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Vista High School Knights celebrate graduation
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Members of the Vista High graduating class who appeared on stage for Wednesday night’s ceremony are shown with the staff at the school, posing for a photo as part of the May 29 graduation festivities. Photo Contributed

Kicking off a trio of nighttime ceremonies on the Escalon High School Campus this past week, Vista High School had its graduation on Wednesday, May 29.

Staged in the Performing Ats Center, the Vista High Class of 2024 graduates in attendance were Ignacio Barajas, Logan Bundy, Mariela Calderon, Josefa Gallegos Millan, Fatima Garcia, Nathaly Lopez, Oscar Martinez, Oscar A. Meza, Ramiro Ochoa, Jasmine Ortiz Webb, Jazmin Quinones, Kaitlyn Romas Cortez, Tomas Sanchez, Kimora Thomas and Hector Trigueros Arciniega. Those not on stage for the ceremony were Cristobal Padilla Ramos and Luis Velarde.

The EHS Band performed the processional with the EHS Choir then leading the singing of the National Anthem.

Principal Gustavo Arzac welcomed the crowd and staff members at Vista were recognized. They include Arzac, who is a teaching principal; along with teachers Nate Bartelink and Martin Louro, counselor Gustavo Jimenez and secretary Theresa Augusto.

Student speaker for the evening was graduate Jazmin Quinones, who congratulated her classmates on their hard work and perseverance, which she said have “brought us to this moment.” She offered thanks to those who have supported her along the way, and reminisced about some of the good memories she made at Vista.

Following her remarks, Arzac stepped to the podium once again and called Quinones back up, as she was selected as this year’s selection for student recognition, honoring her for her attendance, academics, and having a positive impact on the school culture.

“This year was very difficult because we had so many amazing students be nominated,” Arzac said.

But ultimately, it was Quinones who was chosen to receive the “Vista High School Outstanding Achievement Award” for being a model of what it is to be Vista Knight, said the principal.

In addressing the crowd and the class, Arzac again reiterated the many accomplishments of the group.

“Wow, what a class, to be completely honest,” the principal said, noting that the large class required more desks to be brought in to Vista, along with more books and a new curriculum, to challenge them. “And most importantly, you guys gave Vista a whole new way of thinking.”

He said the class is unique, full of untapped potential and destined for greatness.

“You guys have changed the culture at Vista High School,” Arzac told the graduates, as they instituted such programs as Mental Health Mondays, baking activities, artist visits and ‘fun Fridays’ to the campus, helping make it a more enjoyable, well-rounded experience.

“You were all fair to one another and made sure to give credit where credit is due,” Arzac said.

Superintendent Ricardo Chavez certified the class, with school board members then presenting the diplomas; Arzac announced each student and provided information as to what their future holds – entering the workforce, going on to college or heading to the military.

“You all have embraced Vista; and made it your own, taking pride and making sure we represent our school the right way, with respect and giving respect,” Arzac said.

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Graduate Jazmin Quinones was chosen to be the student speaker at the Vista High graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 29. She also later received the Student Achievement Award for the Class of 2024. Marg Jackson/The Times