Paso Robles High School's 2017 graduation
Under bright blue skies and with temperatures near 100 degrees, Paso Robles High School celebrated the achievements of 407 graduating seniors Friday at War Memorial Stadium.
“The portfolio of accomplishments from our senior class is something that all of us at Paso Robles High School can be very proud of,” Prinicipal Eric Martinez said. “They are prepared to be highly successful in any endeavor that they embark on. It has been an honor and privilege to witness first-hand their resilience and intellectual capacity. I am so very proud of all of them and look forward to hearing and seeing the great things they will accomplish in the near future.”
Jacob Van Wiggeren was honored as valedictorian and Teresa Cabello as salutatorian, both of whom participated in the school district’s dual-immersion Spanish program.
Forty-five students graduated with grade-point averages of 4.0 or above, and 49 students earned the State Seal of Biliteracy, which signifies fluency in two languages, according to Martha Clayton, a spokeswoman for Paso Robles Joint Unified School District. Eleven students also signed national letters of intent to participate in college athletics.
Graduates plan to enroll at universities throughout California and across the country, including UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cal Poly and New York University, Martinez said. Two students have also been accepted to military academies — Matthew Olsen will attend the Air Force Academy and Matthew Horne will head to West Point.
Liberty and Independence high schools
Liberty and Independence high schools — both continuation schools — celebrated their graduations on Thursday at War Memorial Stadium.
Together, the schools graduated 115 students — 40 from Independence and 75 from Liberty.
Nick Alvarado was honored as valedictorian and Monica Higuera as salutatorian.
About 60 percent of graduates plan to attend Cuesta College, while others will enroll at out-of-area or trade schools, according to Principal Nate Maas. Some students also plan to join the military — one graduate will enlist in the Marines, three or four in the Army and two in the Navy.
“I would categorize these people as overcomers, all of them,” Maas said. “We’re really proud of what they’ve overcome.”