Anzar graduates show their wild sides

Anzar High Graduation

At Anzar High School, beneath the shade of a sparkly orange mortarboard with a drawing of Frida Kahlo, San Juan Bautista resident Adeline Martinez prepared to graduate.
Martinez, 17, and 82 of her classmates decorated their own hats, paraded into the gymnasium to clips of entrance music they selected, and took home a diploma as one last memory of high school during a graduation ceremony June 9.
“I’m really glad it’s finally happening,” she said. “I didn’t think it was gonna happen.”
Martinez is going to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco. She’ll commute to classes by train, car and bus her first year, she said. Fashion, and particularly picking out a person’s outfit, has been her interest since she was 9 years old, she said. This year, Martinez made that passion into a leadership role when she started a fashion club at the high school.
Other graduates, such as Aromas resident Jacob Fuentez, 17, used their mortarboard headgear to bring snacks into the ceremony. Fuentez brought an entire box of pizza into the gymnasium, carefully affixed to his graduation cap.
“I work at Vertigo Pizza and we have a brick oven there and I make the pizzas and that’s kind of how it started,” he said. “So I get to have a little snack.”
Fuentez plans to study creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, he said. Fuentez’s classmate, San Juan Bautista resident Sergio Jimenez, 18, sported a hat that advertised his plans to become a police officer. Jimenez will participate in the police academy at Gavilan College. His hat held decorations with the words: “Real heroes wear blue” and “Police Department.”
“I designed it this way because I’m going to be a police officer,” Jimenez said. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to be one.”
Principal Charlene McKowen addressed the crowds in Spanish and English and emphasized that the school community that had become a family. She spoke about advisors, who guide groups of students through four years of high school. The advisors and their students see each other at their best and worst, the principal said.
“This is the solid definition of family,” she said.
McKowen also emphasized the rigors of the school, where students must make exhibition presentations and complete 100 service learning hours before they can graduate.
“These seniors are public school superstars, every single one of them,” she said.
Student speaker Marin Salinas Medina seconded McKowen’s sentiments that the school had become a family.
“I look to my left. I look to my right. And all I see are my friends,” he said. “We’re all a great big family.”
The advisors also took the stage to offer parting words of advice and gratitude to the students they had guided through high school. They mentioned surpassed expectations, paused to wipe away tears and recalled a long journey through FASFA applications, college applications, scholarship applications and SAT testing.
When graduate Michelle Serna took the stage during the student addresses, she gave thanks to those that helped the students succeed.
“In front of all of you today sits the future of tomorrow,” Serna said. “Congratulations to the class of 2016, but most of all congratulations to those who helped us get here.”gymnasium, carefully affixed to his graduation cap.
“I work at Vertigo Pizza and we have a brick oven there and I make the pizzas and that’s kind of how it started,” he said. “So I get to have a little snack.”
Fuentez plans to study creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, he said. Fuentez’s classmate, San Juan Bautista resident Sergio Jimenez, 18, sported a hat that advertised his plans to become a police officer. Jimenez will participate in the police academy at Gavilan College. His hat held decorations with the words: “Real heroes wear blue” and “Police Department.”
“I designed it this way because I’m going to be a police officer,” Jimenez said. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to be one.”
Principal Charlene McKowen addressed the crowds in Spanish and English and emphasized that the school community that had become a family. She spoke about advisors, who guide groups of students through four years of high school. The advisors and their students see each other at their best and worst, the principal said.
“This is the solid definition of family,” she said.
McKowen also emphasized the rigors of the school, where students must make exhibition presentations and complete 100 service learning hours before they can graduate.
“These seniors are public school superstars, every single one of them,” she said.
Student speaker Marin Salinas Medina seconded McKowen’s sentiments that the school had become a family.
“I look to my left. I look to my right. And all I see are my friends,” he said. “We’re all a great big family.”
The advisors also took the stage to offer parting words of advice and gratitude to the students they had guided through high school. They mentioned surpassed expectations, paused to wipe away tears and recalled a long journey through FASFA applications, college applications, scholarship applications and SAT testing.
When graduate Michelle Serna took the stage during the student addresses, she gave thanks to those that helped the students succeed.
“In front of all of you today sits the future of tomorrow,” Serna said. “Congratulations to the class of 2016, but most of all congratulations to those who helped us get here.”

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