Bears embrace future at ceremony in new stadium
Merced High School’s graduating Class of 2022 — about 500 strong — and all their family members and friends appeared to max out the capacity of the new Cathie Hostetler Stadium on June 2.
It was the first-ever commencement ceremony at the stadium that was completed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Principal Marcus Knott introduced the valedictorians: Daniel Chen, Lam Luong, Tianna LiWang, Elaine Chuang, Hilda Barragan-Reyes, Isabel Perez-Zoghbi, Erol Ayik, Christine Wilson, Ava Brown, Julia Niles, Kaylie Escobar-Islas, Jonathan Vang, Lourdes Santiago, Isabella Meyer, Jillian Xiong, Celeste Magana Casillas, Kendall Parker, Trisha McCleskey, Jaden Xiong, Seth Scheidt, and Elena Santos-Gonzalez.
The student speaker-at-large was Kayla Horn and the valedictorian speaker was Erol Ayik.
Music, including the National Anthem, was performed by the mighty Merced Marching 100.
Cougars stand proud on graduation night
Class of 2022 student speaker, Cameron Ivy, stood up before some 400 of his fellow Golden Valley High School graduates on commencement night and told them:
“Even if you don’t feel that you’ve done anything incredible in high school, you’ve already made history here at Golden Valley by enduring some of the hardest conditions that high school education has ever seen. Toward the end of our Sophomore year, we were struck with the surprise of COVID-19 — a pandemic that canceled our extracurricular activities, sent us home to attend our classes on a screen, and the worst part, it separated us from one another. But regardless of the difficult circumstances and adversity we’ve faced, we persevered.”
Among those students who persevered were these valedictorians: Ephraim Evans, Alexander Barahona, Atreyu Vangbliayang, Nora Dominguez, Anna Delgadillo, Angelina Saefong, Tiffany Costa, Shania Herr, Amethyst Lumley, ruby Saenz, Celeste Espinoza, Kylie Polk, Cameron Ivy, Lilyana Flores, Angela Russell-Curry, Demarys Anguiano Lara, Viviana Ceja, Madeline Swilley, Ethan Currin, Mateo Tangaan, Anna Eastridge, Johan Falconi-Cavallini, Edgar Gabriola-Barrera, Saul Arana and Sonia Lumley.
Gauchos ready to embrace the world
El Capitan High School’s graduating Class of 2022 brought together hundreds of graduates alongside their family members and friends inside of the campus’ quad on June 2.
As the ceremony got underway, Associate Principal Christopher Tufts introduced more than 50 valedictorians as well as the school’s two salutatorians.
The student speaker-at-large was Gabrielle Jassa and the valedictorian speaker was Agastya Jain.
Music provided throughout the ceremony was provided by the El Capitan High School Gaucho Marching Brigade under the direction of Maria Brouillard, with the National Anthem being sung by Ariana Lourenz Valera.