Atascadero High School graduates Kias Porter, Shane “Star” Santiago and Jayde and Rainey Forzetting brought their classmates to their feet Wednesday afternoon with a soulful rendition of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”
The song was a highlight of the high school’s commencement ceremony at Atascadero Memorial Stadium, where parents, siblings and friends gathered under a cloudless June sky to cheer on the class of 2012.
Sporting light gray caps and gowns, the 345 graduating Greyhounds kept the mood light by bouncing beach balls, blowing bubbles and waving photocopied cutouts of Principal E.J. Rossi’s face. They included valedictorian Kelly Boicourt and salutatorian Matthew Russell, who both plan to attend UC Davis.
Commencement speaker Kennedy Fields compared the high school experience to riding on a rollercoaster, noting that the past four years have represented an uphill battle for some students and a swift downhill ride for others.
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“Like a good rollercoaster, high school had its ups and downs that we can expect ... throughout the rest of our lives — the lives that start the moment we toss our caps into the sky,” said Fields, who plans to attend Point Park University in Pittsburgh. “Today we start a new rollercoaster, and that’s OK.”
Rossi also chose an amusement park metaphor for his remarks, explaining that much of life is like waiting in line at Disneyland.
“As you go through life,” he urged students, “don’t allow yourself to get distracted by what’s there. Choose to make now the best it can be.”
Del Rio Continuation High School
Friends and family members gathered to watch 67 students graduate from Del Rio Continuation High School during Wednesday’s commencement ceremony at Colony Park Community Center in Atascadero.