IT'S GRADUATION TIME, and here in Sunol
that means a new crop of 8th graders are leaving the Sunol Glen
nest for high school. The Commencement Ceremony Thursday honored
the Class of 2003:
Madeline Brazil, Michael Carter, Kevin Foley, Sarah Gray,
David Ingebretsen, Steven Jones, Calvin Kuntze, Kai Nomellini,
Jordan Phibbs, Theodore Stromberg, Kathryn Surles, Sarae Van
Dyke, Fauna Vargas, Joshua Whitfield, and Galen Willett.
Congratulations to another fabulous Sunol Glen graduating class.
The class looked to the "Lord of the Rings" by J.
R. R. Tolkien for its motto: "All that is gold does not
glitter, Not all those who wander are lost, The old that is
strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by frost."
Wise words with which to enter high school. Green Day's "The
Time of Your Life" served as their theme song.
The commencement speakers chosen by the class for their special
care and help were Lorri Vargas and Brad Taylor. Lorri is the
school's Technology Coordinator and has been involved here for
many years as a parent and staff member. Brad is the head of
Sunol Glen's Maintenance department and he has shown in three
brief years that he is one dedicated guy. Both Lorri and Brad
are all-around favorites with students, staff and parents.
Lorri and Brad teamed up for the commencement address, and
offered the students some sound advice: Work hard now to build
the framework for a good adult life, with career opportunities
and a secure future. "You have one thing your parents,
teachers and I don't have," Brad told them, "and that's
your youth." It's all there in front of you youngsters,
and along with Lorri and Brad, we all bid you use it wisely.
Katie and Sarae started off the commencement activities. Katie
led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Sarae, along with Sarah, led
the "Star Spangled Banner." The members of the Class
of 2003 participated throughout the program, offering a welcome,
class history, class future, and a fond farewell.
The class gift of 17 trees - one for each of them and one each
for Superintendent-Principal Diane Everett and 8th grade teacher
Laura Dennis - was presented by Madeline and Michael. The students
dug the holes and planted the trees that will grace the school
grounds for seasons to come. Everyone sends a colossal thank-you
to Lisa Arnold Nursery for generously donating the trees. The
graduates also gave special gifts to members of their families.
Bob Foster and Guin Van Dyke represented the school's Board
of Trustees, offering congratulations to the graduates, and
then, with help from Laura Dennis, gave out the coveted sheepskins.
Each of the three has a commencement of his or her own to celebrate
this year: Bob's son Patrick graduated from Foothill High School
on Friday, Guin's is Sunol graduate Sarae's mom, and Laura is
heading for Foothill herself after 13 years of preparing her
students for that move. She'll be taking over for retiring history
teacher Larry Boston.
In a heartfelt farewell to Laura, Diane Everett recalled her
first graduation ceremony at Sunol Glen 12 years ago, and how
Laura gave her a quick course of "Graduation 101."
"Next year will be my first graduation without her,"
Diane said, "and I'm really going to miss her!" As
will we all.
Diane also had warm words of appreciation for the students,
their parents and the rest of the staff, and announced the recipient
of the staff scholarship, given each year to a high school senior
who graduated from Sunol Glen. The winner this year is Ryan
Hall, whose name appeared regularly in the honor roll lists
in this column. Miki Whitfield, mother of graduate Josh and
a full-time Sunol Glen staff member, presented the award for
best attendance to Calvin Kuntz, who boasts the incredible record
of no absences in the past three school years, and a total of
five in his entire nine years at Sunol Glen.
The graduates also expressed their gratitude to the 7th grade
class for the reception following graduation, the Parent Steering
Committee for the commencement itself and the Medieval Times
themed dance that night, the school staff for their encouragement
and support, and Patty Lessard for her services as sign language
interpreter. Here's to Sunol Glen's Class of 2003 and all of
you who inspired, guided, served and loved them!