The Cambrian

School graduation season is coming to Cambria. Here’s who will be walking

Coast Union High School’s 2018 graduation ceremony celebrates 51 students

Coast Union High School in Cambria, California, graduates 51 students at a commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 7, 2018. Margaret Stern was the valedictorian and Riley Kennedy the salutatorian.
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Coast Union High School in Cambria, California, graduates 51 students at a commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 7, 2018. Margaret Stern was the valedictorian and Riley Kennedy the salutatorian.

Mortarboards and gowns, processional music, diplomas and more are coming soon at the North Coast’s Leffingwell High School, Santa Lucia Middle School and Coast Union High School.

Promotion and graduation ceremonies are June 5 and 6, respectively.

The Leffingwell ceremony starts at 1 p.m. June 5 on the 2820 Santa Rosa Creek Road campus.

The Santa Lucia ceremony is set to begin about 5:30 p.m. June 5 at 2850 Schoolhouse Lane. And the Coast Union ceremony starts at 1 p.m. June 6 at 2950 Santa Rosa Creek Road.

As always, parking is extremely limited on all the campuses, so carpooling is recommended — as is arriving early to snag a good, legal spot.

The Coast Union and Santa Lucia ceremonies take place in the school’s gymnasiums. The Leffingwell graduation is held outside, so it’s wise to bring a hat and a jacket, just in case.

Coast Union High School

Coast Union counselor Mary Stenbeck expects 39 seniors will graduate, including exchange student Ore Okubadejo, who plans to return to Lagos, Nigeria, after graduation.

Karis Lawson and Victoria Ehlers will share valedictory honors, Stenbeck said. Lawson will go to Cal Poly, majoring in landscape engineering, and Ehlers will major in pre-law and minor in music at Lawrence University.

Salutatorian Luis Placentia also will attend Cal Poly in the fall; he plans to study computer science, Stenbeck said.

Three other Coast grads going to Cal Poly include Jack Azevedo and Jasmin Torres, who will both major in agricultural science, and Haley Zinn, who will major in math with an emphasis on becoming a teacher.

Vanessa Ramirez will become a U.S. Marine. “She told me ‘This is my opportunity to serve the country, and I’m excited about that,’ ” Stenbeck said.

Darien Jewel, Julian Mercado and Magnus Marthaler will attend Woodbury College to continue their studies of digital arts and filmmaking.

Other grads will attend a variety of colleges and universities, including Cuesta College, Stenbeck said, adding that quite a few Coast Union students were accepted by more than one college.

The counselor, who had taught this class as seventh graders, said what made the group special is “they’re genuinely sincere, kind young adults.”

She said funders at the scholarship interviews commented often about the students’ “sincerity and their desire to give back and provide service.”

Even though nearly every one of the students has had some kind of hardship, they’ve maintained their hopefulness and optimism,” she said. “They’re a joy to be around.”

The scholarship granters told Stenbeck they were “so encouraged and hopeful for the future” after talking to the applicants.

Leffingwell High School

School Principal Justin Gish said his school will graduate six students. This year’s special award will be given in honor of former Leffingwell educator and leader Grant Phillips, who retired in 2018 after nearly a quarter century there.

Gish declined to announce the award recipient’s name, because “it’s a surprise.”

Santa Lucia Middle School

The roster of 8th graders promoting into high school hadn’t been finalized as of Tuesday, May 28, but the class includes 80 students.

“It’s a pretty stellar class this year,” school secretary/clerk Courtney Hartzell said. “Three girls are tied for top honors, and they all have a 4.0 GPA.”

The top male student and athletes of the year already have been selected.

She said none of the honorees have been notified, because those announcements will be made at the ceremony.

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