Twenty-two students received diplomas at the King High School graduation ceremony on Wednesday night, held in the Brunelle Performance Hall at Davis High School.
According to King High teacher Blair Howard, who was attending his sixth King High graduation, “It means a different thing for each of the students. For some, it means they’ve overcome some monumental struggle. For others, it’s a stepping stone to their next goal. But either way, they’ve worked for it.”
Indeed, some of them were working on completing the last academic requirement for graduation right up to the wire. But they made it. And on Wednesday night, they were ready to celebrate.
Graduate Cathrine Deulloa was beaming a smile from ear to ear as she stood in the lobby after the event, still wearing her cap and gown, and posing for pictures with friends and family.
“I feel like the whole world has been lifted off my shoulders,” Deulloa said, expressing her appreciation for “the help I received” from friends, family and teachers. She plans to attend Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.
Graduate Anthony Martinez also was in the lobby, receiving congratulations from Superintendent Winfred Roberson. The two served together recently on the school district’s Strategic Planning Committee, where Martinez, by all accounts, proved to be a perceptive and valued student participant.
Martinez said that in retrospect, serving on that committee, alongside two dozen “intelligent, mature adults” drawn from all parts of the community, “really changed my life,” giving him more confidence and a broader understanding of society.
Joining him at the ceremony were his father Anthony Sr., mother Karen, aunt Agnes and youngest sibling Violet, soon to turn 3, among others. Martinez plans to work on a ranch this summer, and attend Sacramento City College in the fall.
Teacher Amanda Fiddyment, who will be at the Davis School for Independent Study in the fall, came to see Martinez graduate. When Martinez saw Fiddyment in the audience during the closing processional, he paused, smiled and greeted her.
“He was my student in a summer class a while back — world geography,” Fiddyment recalled. “He was a self-motivated student, and came to class prepared.”
Also in the audience were Davis High School seniors Amber Gizinos and Joshua Garrett, who will graduate on Friday. They attended to see their friend Blair Lindsay, who was their classmate in the past, get her diploma.
“To graduate is really exciting, for her … and for us. It’s a big step,” Gizinos said. Garrett added “I’ve known Blair since we were in the fifth grade, and seen her blossom from a challenging little girl into a grown woman.”
Linda Clark was there to see her ninth grandchild, George Meyers, wear a cap and gown.
“And he started college two days ago!” she noted with approval.
Emanuela David, who was born Romania, attended to see her oldest daughter, Naomi David, graduate.
“I’m very proud. She just got her CNA (certified nursing assistant), and she will be the first generation of our family to go to college,” Emanuela said. “She will be going on a mission trip to Romania to help children over there.”
Carina Taylor was there with her bubbly 5-year-old son King Edwards, who just graduated from transitional kindergarten, and wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.
Taylor said she’d come to see her niece Cshamiya Deary get her diploma.
“She made it! I’m so proud,” Taylor said, adding that the ceremony brought back memories of her own graduation from Grant High in Sacramento when she was a teenager.
Scholarships awarded at the graduation ceremony included the Soroptimist Scholarship to Cshamiya Deary; Davis Waste Removal Scholarship to George Meyers; Rotary Scholarship to Victor Valdes-Chabot; Kiwanis Scholarship to Naomi David; Concilio of Yolo County Scholarships to Jose Rodriguez, Luis Gasca and Cathrine Deulloa; Rosie Gonzales Scholarship to Karina Vazquez Alfaro; Hardenbrook/Davis Teachers Association Scholarship to Jose Rodriguez;, Jack Reinwand Memorial Scholarship to Anthony Martinez; and King High Scholarships to Isaac Simons, Gunnar Greve, Antonio Leon and Naomi David.
The 2014 King High graduates: Naomi David, Cshamiya Deary, Cathrine Deulloa, Luis Gasca, Chelsea Gifford, Jacob Godfryd, Gunnar Greve, Joseph Hardy, Jesse Kehr, Antonio Leon, Blair Lindsay, Anthony Martinez, George Meyers, Jacqueline Mora-Lopez, Matthew Ottele, Tristan Phillips, Kayleen Rogers, Isaac Simons, Victor Valdes-Chabot, Karina Vazquez Alfaro, Tina Wilkins.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8055.