The sun sank slowly into the western sky on Thursday evening as hundreds of people gathered at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium to watch the Galt High School Class of 2019 graduate.
Dressed in red caps and gowns, the graduates made their way to their seats near the stage, waving to their cheering loved ones as the Galt Liberty Unified Ensemble played “Pomp and Circumstance.”
After Principal Kellie Beck welcomed everyone, Class Treasurer Kayli Roberson took a moment to thank the past, present and future members of the armed services in attendance.
“We appreciate your work more than we can express,” Roberson said.
Class President Richard Wagers thanked the school board, superintendent, teachers and staff for giving him and his fellow graduates an opportunity to study at Galt High School and become, in his words, “Warriors for life.”
Class Secretary Madison Sweat extended her gratitude to the parents and friends who loved and supported the graduates, as well as school employees such as custodians and bus drivers who helped make their high school experience possible.
Wagers then congratulated his fellow graduates, wishing them well as they begin new chapters in their lives.
“Our futures are ours to control,” Wagers said.
Kailah Ramos, salutatorian for the Galt High Class of 2019, followed with a speech of her own, applauding her classmates for the time and effort they put into class assignments, all-nighters and exams in preparation for college, careers or the military.
Fighting through tears, Ramos thanked her friends, family and teachers for helping make Galt High her second home, where she found her passion for biomedical science.
“I’m so grateful to be able to go through the past four years with such amazing peers, teachers and staff,” she said. “Thank you all for being part of everything that’s led up to this moment, and for being part of so many memories that will stick with me and so many others forever.”
Valedictorian Cristian Gonzalez stepped onto the stage after Ramos finished her address, and began by thanking his teachers who helped him through his academic struggles, as well as his friends for helping to make his high school experience memorable.
“These people, my friends, mean everything to me,” he said.
Gonzalez encouraged his fellow graduates to stay in touch with one another, before thanking his brother for being a role model as well as a friend.
After thanking his brother in English, Gonzalez switched to Spanish to thank his parents for moving to the United States to give him the opportunity to study at Galt High School.
“Gracias,” he said.
Graduates Hannah Aguirre and Marcos Ordaz, smiling with pride, followed Gonzalez’s speech by announcing the senior gift: A “Warrior Pride” mural for the campus.
“This will be a lasting symbol of Class of 2019’s Warrior pride for years to come,” Aguirre said.
As the ceremony drew to a close, Beck congratulated the seniors before inviting them onto the stage to receive their diplomas.
“It’s time to acknowledge our seniors’ hard work and efforts by awarding each of them a diploma,” she said with pride.