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Estrellita graduates celebrate dedication to higher learning

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Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 11:17 am, Mon Sep 27, 2010.

As the killdeers chirped in the distance and their forest green gowns flapped in the Delta breeze, members of the 2010 graduating class of Estrellita High School were commended for their diligence, hard work and discipline.

"I have no definition for this class," said principal Antonio Lara. "They have surprised me time and time again."

The graduating class was initially supposed to be 84 students, but 104 persevered and were able to graduate, Lara said. Estrellita is Galt's continuation high school. Many of the students who graduated came from other schools and had to work hard to catch up, he said.

"This graduation demonstrates your stick-to-itiveness and ability to go day-to-day," said teacher Brendan Moore.

Several students were awarded scholarships and school awards at the hour-long celebration in which friends and loved ones cheered and blew air horns.

Bryan Kloberdanz was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from ITT Technical Institute and a $500 scholarship from the Galt Valley Oaks Grange. Kloberdanz will attend ITT Tech in the fall, and said during his speech to the audience that the educators supported him and helped him thrive. He owed all his achievements to them, he said.

"I'd like to thank them for not suspending me as much as they should have," he said, drawing laughter from the more than 200 in attendance.

Hayley Chappell also received multiple scholarships. Chappell was given a $750 scholarship from the Galt Lions Club, as well as a $500 scholarship from the Galt High Alumni Association.

Edgar Gutierrez plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice from Kaplan College and would like to be a district attorney. Completing the independent study program at Estrellita gave him a sense of accomplishment, he said.

"Before I came here, I wasn't expecting to graduate," he said. "I realized I had to get it together. It feels great."

Anissa Glover was presented with a citizenship award for her positive attitude and willingness to help others. As Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," blared in the background after the ceremony, her mother said she was proud of her achievements.

"She's very strong-willed," said Tina Glover. "It says a lot about her character. She knew she needed to do it for her daughter."

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com

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4 comments:

  • posted at 6:27 am on Thu, Jun 3, 2010.

    Posts:

    Having sat on the H/S Board that obtained the funding and built Estrellita, I can say without reservation that many of these kids would NOT have graduated from H/S from circumstances beyond their control. Many come from broken homes, abuseful homes and sometimes no home. Many work to help pay their way through a tough life. Some make mistakes, sometimes more than once, but I can say that the successes have far outweighed the failures. Is the curriculum easier...that depends on your perspective and abilities and the life you are born into. It is VERY sad to me when a child thinks they are not wanted and then an adult demonstrates they are not. Should we make their lifes tougher? No, just tough on an equal footing.

     
  • posted at 3:57 am on Thu, Jun 3, 2010.

    Posts:

    Continuation school might be necessary, but elevating them ALL to the same status as a regular high school in the media is misleading and disrespectful to all the kids who work their butt off in a comprehensive high school What is wrong with society today??

     
  • posted at 3:15 am on Thu, Jun 3, 2010.

    Posts:

    agree with you 100% pat. these kids are making changes in their lives. many will do great things. congratulations to everyone.

     
  • posted at 1:45 am on Thu, Jun 3, 2010.

    Posts:

    Some people said we shouldn't spend taxpayers money on a continuation school. This is why you do: 1999, 22 graduates 2010, 102 graduates. This is why I have always said: "I never met a kid I couldn't like". Congratulations, and welcome to the world or real.Good job with the pics and story Daniel and Jordan, thank you Marty.

     

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Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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