“When your luck isn’t lucky, hard work works.”
That was Tara Covell’s advice in her valedictory speech to parents, community members her fellow Leffingwell High School graduates and others in attendance at Friday’s commencement celebration.
Covell joined classmates Jose Fernandez, Dylan Hergenroeder and Brayan Pena in graduating from Cambria’s continuation high school on a bright, sunny afternoon.
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“We are all here for different reasons,” Covell said, adding that “there’s no traditional education” at Leffingwell. “We do things at our own pace for our own reasons.”
“There’s never a dull moment at Leffingwell,” Covell said. “Coming to Leffingwell made me a fan of school.”
Covell completed her time at Leffingwell with a 4.0 grade-point average and is already nearly halfway through requirements for her associate’s degree at Cuesta College. When she’s done there, she plans to transfer to Cal Poly, where she intends to pursue a degree in ag business.
Bob Watt, retiring principal at Leffingwell, called his time there “one of the highlights of my career.”
“Many of the students who come here haven’t had a good day of school in their lives,” he said. “They walk through these doors, and they’re welcomed.”
Superintendent Vicki Schumacher told the graduates, “You are more alike than you are different.”
“You have developed resilience,” she said. “Your ability to bounce back and move forward is a reason you’ve achieved what you have.”
Also in attendance were school board President Del Clegg, along with trustees Dennis Rightmer and Lee McFarland; and Leffingwell staff members lead teacher Grant Phillips, counselor Cheryl Seay, instructional aide Nina Margo and secretary/registrar Joey Davis.
When your luck isn’t lucky, hard work works.
Tara Covell, Leffingwell High School valedictorian
Graduates received at total of $10,450 in scholarships.
Covell received the American Legion Post 432 Honor Medal and scholarship, along with scholarships from the American Legion Auxiliary, Art Hiatt, Cambria Hardware Center, Lions Club of Cambria, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Rotary Club of the Central Coast Passport and University Women of Cambria.
Hergenroeder, who plans to study business and general education at Cuesta in the fall, received the Art Hiatt Scholarship and a scholarship from Cambria Hardware.
Fernandez, who plans to attend Cuesta and pursue a degree in architecture, received the Post 432 medal and scholarship, along with teh North Coast School Employees Association scholarship.
Pena received schoarships from Cambria Hardware, the Lions Club and University Women.
Two scholarships honored all four graduates: the Sally Angel Memorial Scholarship Odd Fellows IOOF 181 and the Thaddeus Sherman Masonic Lodge 196 scholarship.
Your ability to bounce back and move forward is a reason you’ve achieved what you have.
Vicki Schumacher, Coast Unified School District superintendent