Red-and-gold Bronco pride resonated throughout the Coast Union High School gymnasium in Cambria on Thursday as 51 North Coast graduates received their diplomas and marched off into adulthood and the future.
Margaret “Meg” Stern was the 2018 valedictorian and Riley Kennedy the salutatorian of a class in which 100 percent of grads are going to a four-year or two-year college or a technical school, Principal Scott Ferguson said.
Ferguson said both are “consummate students, involved in academics, extra-curricular activities, sports, the community, everything. …They’ve both done a lot of community service, a lot of giving. They’re well respected by peers, community members and parents.”
The multi-faceted Stern, he said, was a standout basketball player, but also very much into the arts. “She has all kinds of artistic ability and a beautiful voice.” Stern will attend UC Berkeley. Kennedy will attend Notre Dame, and “he could be president of the U.S. one day,” the principal said with a grin. The salutatorian “wants to go into politics and/or be a lawyer. … He’s very articulate and speaks well in front of people.” Kennedy also was an all-around athlete.
Ferguson described the 2018 class as “very well-rounded ... full of “very strong athletes, very strong in academics, music and art. Some great technology students, too.”
Other grads also are headed to such colleges as UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Sonoma State, Sacramento State, a variety of prestigious universities and Cuesta College through the Cuesta Promise scholarship program.
And while every high school class has its cliques, Ferguson said Coast’s 2018 seniors melded well into a unit, no matter what their disparate interests. “They all have fun together and do well together, whoever they are, whichever direction they’re going in. It’s a unique trait.”