About 940 students wrapped up their high school careers and turned their tassels Friday at commencement ceremonies in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Nipomo.
“What makes this class special is their willingness to help each other,” San Luis Obispo High School Principal Leslie O’Connor said of his Class of 2016. “They are positive to a fault, supportive of each other and willing to champion on behalf of their fellow human being. They are accepting and open-minded and truly reflect the progressive community we call home.”
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo High School celebrated the graduation of 299 seniors at its ceremony Friday afternoon.
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The valedictorian is Omar Rahim, who will attend University of the Pacific in the fall. Salutatorian Sohum Pal will attend Yale.
Fifty-one percent of the seniors will attend four-year universities and colleges.
Thirty-two will enroll at Cal Poly and 24 at other California State University campuses; 32 will attend University of California schools, with four heading to UC Berkeley, six to UC Davis, six to UCLA and seven to UC Santa Barbara; 30 will attend private colleges, including Cornell, Harvard and Gonzaga; and 22 will enroll at out-of-state schools, among them University of Oregon, University of Texas and Montana State University.
“I will especially remember their smiling faces at the Big Tree and their warm ‘good mornings,’ as well as their passion at assemblies and sporting events,” O’Connor said.
Paso Robles High School held a ceremony Friday to celebrate the accomplishments of 413 graduates.
The class was led by valedictorian Taylor Bedrosian, who will attend Cal Poly, and salutatorian William Tyler Penn. Twenty-seven students graduated with a GPA of 4.0 or above.
Of those graduating, 225 students will go on to attend two-year colleges, 164 will attend four-year schools, 13 will enroll in technical schools and 11 plan to join the military. All of the seniors enrolled in Paso Robles’ AVID program were accepted to four-year colleges.
Paso Robles spokeswoman Martha Clayton said the Class of 2016 started a new tradition called “Graduation Walk,” in which graduates went back to their elementary schools in their caps and gowns to visit their teachers and younger students.
“Our Class of 2016 is a special group of young adults with amazing talent,” said interim Principal Jennifer Gaviola. “They are caring, dedicated students who truly depict our ‘One Team, One Dream’ motto at Paso Robles Joint Unified School District. Our future is in wonderful hands as these students go into the real world to pursue their dreams. (The) 2016 Bearcats have made a difference in this community and will have a tremendous impact in this world.”
Nipomo High School on Friday graduated 225 seniors who made up a close-knit class with many talents, according to Principal John Denno.
“They are really a great, spirited class,” he said. “Because of the size of our campus, we have a large number of students that are involved in many ways.”
The valedictorian was Terry Wambolt, and the salutatorian was Dylan Ceronio.
Of those graduating, 37 will move on to four-year universities: 21 students to California State Universities (six of those to Cal Poly), five to schools in the University of California system (three of those to UCSB) and 11 to private or out-of-state schools.
The majority of the students will be going on to community colleges — Denno said 147 seniors reported they will attend a junior college after graduation.
Eight students have plans to enter the military, and five will attend a vocational or trade school.
Denno said the class has had a number of accomplishments this past school year, from winning FFA accolades to impressive showings by the school’s football and other sports teams.
Nick Wilson, Lindsey Holden and Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this report.