Class of 2017 Honored at graduation Ceremony

Submitted by Denair High School

The 70 graduates of the Denair High School Class of 2017 received their diplomas Friday night in front of friends, family and community members at Jack Lytton Stadium. The ceremony featured remarks by Superintendent Aaron Rosander, Principal Kara Backman, valedictorian Hector Obando and salutatorian Libby Martinez. School board members were on hand to present diplomas to the students.

Here are what the student speakers had to say:

 

Hector Obando, valedictorian (4.17 grade-point average)

Thank you for joining us at Jack W. Lytton stadium for Denair High’s very own graduating class of 2017.

It comes with great respect and privilege to be here today. Watching all of the people I have grown up with become young adults has gone by too fast. We are on the verge of adulthood! But first, to become an adult we have to strive towards goals our role models have set for us. Therefore we should congratulate not only ourselves, but our role models which includes parents, teachers, coaches, guardians, extended family, friends and anyone else who has imprinted on our lives.

As we become adults, we too are going to be role models. Now, I am not saying to act perfect because nobody can ask that. Just remember, as you continue your trail of life, do not go unnoticed. There’s always someone watching whether they are older or younger than you are, and it is never wrong to make a difference in their life.

I know that I have not been here as long as some of my fellow graduates. I started my freshman year, but this moment today will bring joyous cheer and also a teary-eyed sunshine. I will miss my family that I call the graduating class of 2017. Continue reading “Class of 2017 Honored at graduation Ceremony” »

Denair High Graduates Make Lasting Impression on Younger Students at DECA

The Denair High School Class of 2017 provided real-life inspiration to their much younger peers Thursday morning, donning their purple and white caps and gowns and marching through the Denair Elementary Charter Academy campus.

It was the first step in a daylong series of events, including a mid-morning graduation practice walkthrough, leading up to Friday night’s commencement ceremony. Graduation begins at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Thursday’s first-ever Grad Walk was the brainchild of high school Principal Kara Backman and Amanda Silva, the district’s assistant director of special education. It was patterned after similar events discussed at a No Excuses University conference in January, Silva said.

NEU is an educational model built around the belief that every child has a right to be prepared for college, starting at the elementary level. Denair schools have embraced that philosophy and are working toward NEU certification.

Beneath their robes Thursday morning, Class of 2017 students wore T-shirts from their colleges of choice. Backman said 47 of the 70 graduates plan to attend a college or trade school of some kind.

The march to DECA campus was intended to be a vivid reminder of the educational journey the elementary students have just begun. Continue reading “Denair High Graduates Make Lasting Impression on Younger Students at DECA” »

Denair High Golf Program Finishes First Year on High Note With Drew Pritchard Earning Medal at Section Tournament

Robert Henderson, R.J. Henderson, Greg Gaudio, Seth Martinez

Submitted by Denair High School

Baby steps, capped off by an impressive and rewarding individual performance. That’s one way to describe the first-ever Denair High golf team this spring.

The Coyotes have never fielded a golf squad before. But Athletic Director Darrin Allen and co-coaches R.J. Henderson and Greg Gaudio explored the possibilities, determined there was sufficient interest and decided to give it a go.

Three players – sophomores Drew Pritchard and Seth Martinez and senior Robert Henderson – comprised the fledgling team. A minimum of five players are required to compete in Southern League matches, but Denair overcame that by partnering with Waterford – another small team – to ensure enough players were available for opponents.

There were no team scores for Denair and Waterford, but their individual players earned points based on results to potentially qualify for playoff events.

Home matches were held at Oakdale Country Club, thanks to Waterford. The River Oaks Golf Course in Ceres provided practice facilities for the Coyotes.

“It was wonderful having Waterford as partners and I bet the two teams made some good friendships,” Gaudio said.

The highlight of the season was Pritchard accumulating enough individual points to earn a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI tournament on May 8 at Elkhorn Country Club in Stockton. He did himself and his school proud by firing an 86, good enough for a tie for sixth place in the field of 105 players, earning him a medal.

“Putting together a first-year program was a very unique and pleasant experience,” said Henderson.

Top Denair High Students Obando, Martinez Reflect on Quality of Education and Academic Success

Libby Martinez and Hector Obando

Submitted by Denair High School

Hector Obando is the Denair High School Class of 2017 valedictorian by virtue of his 4.17 grade-point average. The salutatorian will be Elisabeth “Libby” Martinez, who compiled a 4.15 GPA in her four years.

The graduation ceremony will be May 26 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are not required.

Obando and Martinez recently took time to answer 10 questions about their high school experiences.

Question: What are the key things other students should know about your academic success and how you achieved it?

Obando: Other students should know that hard work is universal. Anyone can push themselves to their limit and succeed. Perseverance is also something that helped my academic achievement.

Martinez: My academic success is from my perseverance and determination. I may have procrastinated to get things done, but at the end of the day, I knew I would have to do them, so why worry about them later?

Q: How much time outside of class did you spend studying or doing homework?

Martinez: Outside of class, I would spend about an hour every day doing homework or trying to study.

Obando: I spend approximately an hour or more, if needed, studying and doing homework.

Q: Which classes and/or teachers at Denair High had the most influence on you?

Obando: All my teachers have really inspired me throughout my four years, including but not limited to Mr. Wagner, Mr. Cumberland, Mrs. Hilton, Mr. Allen, Mr. Stav and Sra. Olivas. In each of their courses that they taught me, I have learned many valuable lessons for the next step in life.

Martinez: My art classes with Mr. Stav have been influential and are the reason I am going to major in Fine Arts in college. My junior English class with Mrs. Schutcherman was also inspiring and gave me the motivation to read again for fun. Continue reading “Top Denair High Students Obando, Martinez Reflect on Quality of Education and Academic Success” »

Top Denair High School Students Awarded Nearly $16,000 in Combined Scholarships

Hector Obando and Eva Varni

Submitted by Denair High School

There were smiles, even a few tears, and plenty of hugs and applause Friday night at the Coyote Center as Denair High School honored its top students.

Nearly $16,000 in combined scholarships were announced, money that will be important as the members of the Class of 2017 continue their educations in college.

Eva Varni earned the most in scholarships ($3,150), followed by Kyle Prock ($2,250). Varni also was presented with the Principal’s Leadership Award.

Hector Obando will be the valedictorian at the May 26 graduation ceremony based on his 4.17 grade-point average. He also earned recognition from the California Department of Education’s Mathematics Council.

Elisabeth Martinez was just behind Obando in GPA (4.15) and will be the salutatorian during graduation.

In the lower grades, junior Daisy Lopez (4.15), sophomore Reyna Villa (4.13) and freshman Fernando Silva (4.12) earned the highest GPAs.

Senior Trevor Lovelace was recognized for perfect attendance during his entire scholastic career – kindergarten through 12th grade.

All scholarships, listed by student:

  • Christina Abebe: $500 from Kiwanis of Greater Turlock Ron Jesse Scholarship, $300 from Denair Sports Boosters, $125 from Sigma Omega Phi
  • Victoria Adler: $500 from the Denair Education Foundation
  • Joe Brasil: $250 from Denair Farm and Family, $100 from Denair Youth Football
  • Ileah Brantley: $500 from Key Club
  • Jared Carbajal: $250 from Denair Farm and Family, $100 from Denair Sports Boosters, $200 from the Mark Selee Memorial
  • Joseph Ciccarelli: $200 from Denair Youth Football
  • Brendan Curnow: $300 from Denair Sports Boosters, $250 from Denair Farm and Family, $100 from Denair Youth Football
  • Kayla Fant: $500 from DUTA Roberta Prescott Scholarship, $250 from Denair Farm and Family
  • Cristal Fuentes: $250 from Denair Farm and Family
  • Jaileen Gazcon: $250 from Denair Farm and Family
  • Justin Gomes: $500 from Denair Volunteer Fire Department
  • Carson Haringa: $300 from Denair Sports Boosters
  • Hector Jimenez: $100 from Denair Sports Boosters
  • Trevor Lovelace: $500 from Kiwanis of Greater Turlock Ron Jesse Scholarship, $300 from Denair Sports Boosters
  • Elisabeth Martinez: $500 from Denair Education Foundation, $500 from Denair Sports Boosters, $250 from Denair Farm and Family, $200 from Denair Youth Football
  • Nicole Nichols: $250 from Denair Farm and Family
  • Hector Obando: $500 from DUTA Roberta Prescott Scholarship, $500 from Denair Sports Boosters, $200 from Denair Youth Football
  • Kyle Prock: $1,000 from Hilmar Cheese Co., $500 from Stanislaus-San Joaquin Cattlewomen, $300 from Denair Sports Boosters, $250 from Denair Farm and Family, $200 from Denair Youth Football
  • Zachary Ramaley: $350 from Stanislaus County Office of Education, $250 from Denair Farm and Family
  • Sierra Smith: $250 from Denair Farm and Family
  • Seth Snider: $250 from Denair Farm and Family, $200 from Denair Youth Football
  • Eva Varni: $1,000 Denair Lions Club Tom Dougherty Scholarship, $500 from Denair Education Foundation, $500 from Denair Sports Boosters, $250 from Denair Farm and Family, $500 from Denair Volunteer Fire Department, $300 from the Mark Selee Memorial, $100 from Denair Youth Football

Continue reading “Top Denair High School Students Awarded Nearly $16,000 in Combined Scholarships” »