Students’ strengths, tenacity highlighted during June 8 commencement ceremony
MARTINEZ, Calif. – “Courage” was a word oft repeated during the Vicente Martinez and Briones High School Class of 2016 commencement ceremony last week – and a quality each member of the graduating class has in spades, according to their mentors.
After a lively medley, procession and National Anthem played by the Diablo Regional Concert Band, Principal Lori O’Connor addressed the graduates, their family members and friends gathered at John Muir Amphitheater June 8.
“I love that quote that says, ‘Sometimes courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says, I will try again tomorrow,’” O’Connor said. “Everyone that’s joined us here this evening has courage. Parents and families of our graduates have courage; you had the courage to support your children in the pursuit of their education, even though it meant not through traditional means. … Each and every one of you had an obstacle to leap, a challenge to work through and a struggle to overcome – a challenge to make it here today,” O’Connor said, adding the graduates are an inspiration to all.
The continuation school boasted nearly 50 graduates this year, many of whom will continue their education at trade schools, community and four-year colleges.
“This is a celebration that represents 13 years of effort. It reflects hard work, dedication and perseverance. Savor the moment. Take a snapshot in your mind’s eye so you will always have this as a reference point,” outgoing Superintendent Rami Muth said to the graduating class. “You’ve chosen a path that will lead you to success, even though you’ve had to overcome some obstacles to get to where you are today.”
Following a presentation of scholarships that included a dramatic entrance from the Saints Motorcycle Club of Martinez, class speakers Kathryn Butler, Catty Dalton, Carly Loveless and Johnathan Montoya talked of educational and personal struggles, and how the alternative options offered at their schools helped them reach their goal of obtaining a high school diploma.
After diplomas were distributed, Muth delivered the Certification of Graduates, followed by student Jhonatan Zamora presenting the Moving of the Tassels.
“Your resiliency, your hard work and your heart got you here today. It will take you a long way,” O’Connor said. “Remember this day always, and that you can achieve. And Class of 2016, continue to be courageous.”
Vicente Martinez and Briones High School Class of 2016: Jack M. Adair, Cole J. Archuleta, Enrique Juan Ramon Armas, Kenneth Richard Balluff, Mercedes Monique Beard, Kourtney Branum, Ta’tiana Jacqueline Sharik Butcher, Kathryn Mary Butler, Jayson Cain, Dominic Cellini, Miranda Ladawn Chappa, Amani Conat’e, Matteo A. Corralejo, Alexander Daberdaku, Caitriona Dalton, Alyssia Kayleen deBonneville, Wolfgang Dunn, Daniel Obioma Egeolu, Tyler Darrin Ferguson, Isabel Angela Garcia-Gutierrez, Grady Hernandez, Patrick Jackson, Selina Cristiana Limbaugh, Carly Gabriel Loveless, Patrick Michael Madden, Reese Grem Markham, Danielle Jennifer Marti, Nicole Adeline Medernach, Taylor Mitchell, Sarah Elizabeth Mohammed, Johnathan Guilberto Montoya, Danielle S. Murray, Chantz Andrew Nemcik, Samantha Leanne Ohde, Gabriel W. Perez, Hailie Nicole Christina Pergakis, Jada Ariana Perkins, Josh Pratt, Amanda Elise Rainey, Alexia Rubio, Joaquin Joseph Sanchez, Maria Fernanda Sepulveda, Jonathan Serbellon Jr., Michael Anthony Tomsic, Tiffany Roze’ann Webb, Madison Koryn Yaeger, Jhonatan Zamora.
Students awarded scholarships
The following Vicente High School and Briones School students were awarded scholarships during their Class of 2016 commencement ceremony Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at John Muir Amphitheater in Martinez.
Saints Motorcycle Club scholarships: Miranda Chappa, Mercedes Beard, Grady Hernandez, Dominic Cellini, Matteo Corralejo, Michael Tomsic, Enrique Armas, Tyler Ferguson, Catty Dalton, Kenneth Balluff, Daniel Egedu, Patrick Jackson, Chantz Nemcik, Amani Conate, Danielle Murray, Jonathan Serbellon, Cole Archuleta, Jack Adair, Jayson Cain;
Martinez Adult Education scholarships: Isabel Gutierrez, Ta’tiana Butcher;
Lioness scholarships: Samantha Ohde, Sarah Mohammad;
Martinez Rotary scholarships: Alyssia deBonneville, Nicole Medernach;
Martinez Kiwanis: Katherine Butler, Jhonatan Zamora;
Zichichi Family scholarship: Amanda Rainey;
Hobert Family: Fernanda Sepulveda, Selina Limbaugh;
Campos Family scholarships: Carly Lennox, Kourtney Branum, Jada Perkins;
New Leaf scholarships: Josh Pratt, Amanda Rainey, Isabel Garcia-Gutierrez, Johnathan Montoya, Madison Yaegar and Danielle Marti.