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Graduations: A bright future has a rousing beginning

Morro Bay High School students line up to march out for their commencement ceremony on Thursday, led by valedictorian Nicole Subler, left, and salutatorian Torran Kitts.
Morro Bay High School students line up to march out for their commencement ceremony on Thursday, led by valedictorian Nicole Subler, left, and salutatorian Torran Kitts. The Tribune

Graduation ceremonies at Morro Bay High School on Thursday ran the gamut from poignant to farcical before 194 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Senior Lyndsey Homan got the proceedings off to a patriotic start with a rousing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Then salutatorian Torran Kitts strutted to the microphone wearing a big pair of sunglasses.

“It’s really bright out — like our futures,” he said, snatching the glasses off.

The future theater major then went on to describe the class of 2012 as a “pack of fabulous panthers barfing up excellence at every step.” He said learning self-respect was one of the most important lessons of his four years of high school, which he said was learning to accept all parts of yourself.

“I was a weird kid,” he said. “It’s good to see not much has changed.”

Valedictorian Nicole Subler gave a more traditional graduation speech. She likened overcoming the challenges of high school to her reluctance to learn to drive — until she drove alone for the first time.

“I could have just gone,” she said. “I could have gone anywhere.”

Principal Dan Andrus then took the unusual step of having a retiring teacher come to the microphone. Bruce Badrigian tearfully described how he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and spent a month in intensive care.

“Thank you all for saving my life,” he told the staff and students before receiving a standing ovation.

Click to see more photos from Morro Bay's graduation »

Shandon High School

Twenty-two students graduated from Shandon High School on Thursday.

Leading the class were Lucia Lopez Rivera, valedictorian, and Letisia Muniz, salutatorian.

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