“A sea of Blue and Gold” as 432 graduates entered in two lines and took their seats at the center of the football field.
MHS Principal Eric Barba was master of ceremonies for the evening, and greeted graduates and their families and friends who packed the grandstands of the stadium and said, “Today we celebrate the accomplishments of 432 graduating seniors. The school’s leader spoke about his graduating class, remembering when they started in August of 2016 with “bright eyes” at the high school orientation, and how they are now leaving Monache with accomplishments that are way beyond his and their wildest dreams, and he is very proud of them. He said, “In particular this class is special too me. It’s my first class as principal. I’ve seen these student grow and I’m proud of what I see. Some have overcome incredible obstacles, they’ve overcome things that most of us don’t even dream of . . . And some of them have challenged themselves and succeeded. We will see on TV what these seniors will do in the future.
Values, work ethic, and tenacity have brought them here this night. Parents thank you for trusting the lives of your students to Monache high school and Porterville Unified School District. Class of 2019 thank you for the last four years and continue to challenge yourselves and make a mark on the future. Good luck and thank you class of 2019,” said Barba.
“Good evening parents, faculty and class of 2019, it’s exciting for all 438 of us, but bittersweet. Tonight we start some of the first days of our lives, but it’s scary.” As we stand here tonight, our future is ahead of us. We started high school as children but we are leaving as adults. High school is a precursor to your future, and their will be lots of opportunities ahead, said Mia Pengilly, in the welcoming speech. “We’ll determine what we become, and what you believe in is the most important. What you yourself do is what matters the most. Have self confidence. Have courage and follow your heart. And believe in yourself if others don’t. Congratulations class of 2019. Together we move forward.
For the valedictory speech, each of the 10 valedictorians — Valeria Angelina Ibarra Gutierrez, Marilou Ruiz, Gabriela Andrade, Gwendolyn Leia Garcia, Katie Ryan Land, Johanna Samara Beltran, Marie Alexis LoBue, Marinah Celine Villagomez, Mikayli Ann Moore, and Madison Claire Giannetto — spoke at the podium to share their thoughts on their high school experience and what is in their future.
All of the valedictorian had wise words to say, some spoke about what they overcame, others had advice for one another and the whole class of 2019. One valedictorian spoke about the champion athletics in the class of 2019, also the breathtaking artists and scholars. She said all of her classmates were amazing individuals. And the past four years everyones individuality shone through in little things, and there is strengh in that individuality.
Another valedictorian spoke about how they were all excited, and somewhat scared, and they’ve all had failures in school, but also accomplishments, and she thanked her peers for the four great years they’ve had together at Monache.
Another of the students thanked her parents and family for all their support, and said her parents work hard. She said, on behalf of herself, and others in her class, she looks back at what she’s achieved in high school and is amazed at what’s she’s accomplished. And said,”My Mom and Dad taught me to do my best and that was my reward.”
Among the graduates were 40 California Scholastic Federation Sealbearers and many students who achieved a grade point average of 4.0 or higher, whom Barba recognized by having them stand as he called their names aloud.
After a performance of “The Avengers” by the Monache Marauder Band, student body president Mikayli Moore gave the farewell address saying, “My favorite part is the end,” and she spoke about her favorite movie that has a great ending. “I never get bored,” and before I feel the weight of all your eyeballs, I’m not going to compare high school to a movie.” she said. “The best four years of your life” are in high school. “I’ve seen some amazing people do amazing things in the past four years. They will continue to do the amazing things for the next four years, and the next four years after that, and for the rest of their lives. We are all going to move mountains. This class of 2019 is a hard act to follow.
Thank you to the class of 2019
PUSD board member James Carson and Felipe Martinez handed each of the 432 graduates their diplomas as their names were called. Once the tassels were turned from right to left and their emancipation from high school was official, the grads dispersed to begin their celebrations.