"WELL, THERE YA' GO!" said Sunol Glen eighth-grade teacher,
Laura Dennis, sending her charges out into the world.
Our little country school celebrated its 77th graduation and
the Class of 2002 adopted their teacher's oft-repeated favorite
saying as their class motto. And there they went.
Quite a few of Sunol Glen's twenty graduates have been attending
school here with the same classmates for most of grade school
and middle school - a benefit and bane of having one-class-per
grade. Many of the teachers and staff welcomed these children
as they arrived, and will be here next year to continue on with
each succeeding class.
There's a unique continuity here. It's a school where the parent
volunteers return year after year and teachers rarely leave
before retirement. Perhaps it is the continuity of the caring
adults - staff, parents, and involved members of the community
- that gives our graduates a unique and valuable stability they
take with them when they go.
Speaking of parent volunteers, Leslie Roberts took a
giant step into the volunteer bravery hall of fame. I've seen
parents tottering atop ladders, getting sunburned at walkathons,
and boarding buses with hormone-enraged teenagers. But Leslie
did something most of us would never attempt: she sang "The
Star Spangled Banner!" A'capella, no less! And she nailed
The graduates are:
Evan Alexander, Kayla L. Cheves, Kari Davis, Nick DeStarr,
Murray R. Foster, Richard H. Foster II, Sarah Gbadebo, Andres
Gutierrez, Brittany Harper, Dominique Hartkopf, Alexander Johnson,
Katie McKewon, Kristen Mumolo, Lauren Roberts, Donovan R. Chmura,
Tyler A. Santos, Danielle Scroggins, Martin D. Smith, Jillian
Sweetnam, and Lindsey Thurman.
Almost all of the eighth-graders participated in the evening's
program, which included highlights of their years at Sunol Glen,
ten-years-from-now predictions from each graduate, and presentation
of gifts to parent volunteers, their teacher and their school.
The gift to the school from the Class of 2002 is the refurbishing
and updating of the school's marquee.
Though many of the students' predictions for their futures
were tongue-in-cheek, they envisioned themselves as everything
from owner of a resort on the moon, to owner of a magazine;
from becoming parents, to becoming drag racers, chefs, teachers
and philanthropists. Oh, and they're all going to be very, very
rich. They may have grown up together, but these kids have lots
of different dreams and we hope they all come true.
Superintendent-Principal Diane Everett quoted astronaut Sally
Ride in her message to the grads, telling them never to lose
their vision, and to strive to reach the pinnacle of any undertaking.
She also presented the Sunol Glen Scholarship, given annually
by Sunol staff to a graduating high school senior who graduated
from Sunol Glen.
This year's recipient is Patricia Carpenter, Foothill Class
of 2002. Patty spoke meaningfully to the eighth-graders about
the importance of being a caring person, challenging them to
be kind to everyone they meet in high school. Patty was also
instrumental in campaigning for Sunol Glen's Student Council
President, Alex Johnson, in his successful bid to serve as Foothill
High School's freshman class Vice President in the fall. Alex
was also chosen to receive the Sunol Student Leadership award
presented by Student Council Advisor Laura Dennis.
The Commencement Speakers were Nancy Brazil and Sandy Luce,
co-teachers of Sunol's seventh grade. Aretha Franklin's "Respect"
played as the ladies took the stage, setting all of the grads
and guests clapping in time. The grads heard that song every
morning of seventh grade, reminding them that respect was the
theme for that year. Obviously, they liked the message, and
The Sunol Glen School District Board of Trustees, Gerry
Beemiller, Bob Foster, and Guin Van Dyke joined
Laura Dennis to hand out the diplomas. Diane Everett placed
a beautiful flower lei around the neck of each graduates, as
headed to the cafeteria for the reception in their honor put
on by the seventh-graders and their families. While they snacked
and posed, the eighth-grade parents transformed the auditorium
from a commencement hall into a tropical island for the graduation
The Sunol Glen Class of 2002 would like to thank the Trustees,
Mrs. Everett, and the 26 members of the school faculty and staff
for their encouragement and support. Congratulations to all
the graduates and their families, and the very best of luck
in high school.