FAIRFIELD — Armijo High School’s Class of 2013 has entered the world of adulthood, college and jobs.
Its 500 students ended their stays Thursday in the Fairfield-Suisun School District. They stepped onto Brownlee Field and received their diplomas. They are now Armijo alumni.
Armijo High School has had 118 graduations over its long history. The latest version began at 6 p.m. in traditional manner, with students entering the footfall field to “Pomp and Circumstance.” They sat on card table chairs on the artificial turf, holding onto their caps when a particularly strong gust of wind blew.
Valedictorian Arthur Mestas noted the clichés that go with graduations – a new beginning, the students will look back on these days – then said the clichés have some truth to them.
Associated Student Body President Ryan Lucas talked about the years to come and the unknowns that they will bring. Students in the next few years could do everything from graduate college to get married.
“The rest of our lives, we will be adults,” Lucas said. “Adults with opportunity.”
Teacher Cesar Correa told audience members in the bleachers that each one of them was one of the four most important people in their particular young person’s life.
“I know this, because they only get four tickets,” he said.
As usual, the males wore purple gowns and the females wore gold gowns. But many students embellished the required look, whether it be with a lei or a candy necklace or a necklace made from paper money.
Almost as traditional as “Pomp and Cirumstance” was a student throwing up a beach ball and a school official chasing it down and deflating it.
This being the 21st century, some students held and occasionally glanced at cellphones during the ceremony. One snapped a photo of a classmate.
Students got their moment in the spotlight when they received their diplomas. Each seemed to have their own rooting section, both in the bleachers and among their fellow students.
Students began cheering loudly when the last graduate’s name was read. The cheers got louder when Principal Eric Tretten said, “Graduates, please stand.” Then, one-and-a-half hours after the ceremony started, it ended with caps flying into the air.
Before the ceremony, the students gathered on the campus to get ready for their big moment.
Breanna Davidson plans to attend Solano Community College, then transfer to California State University East Bay in Hayward. She plans to study pediatrics.
“I’m sad to leave younger friends, but I’m excited to start anew,” she said.
One thing in particular about Armijo High School stands out to her, something she’ll remember.
“Sports, definitely sports, volleyball and track,” Davidson said.
Jessi Bossett will attend California State University, Fullerton. It has a good business school and she wants to be an investment banker, she said.
But she is leaving the familiar for the unknown.
“It’s really scary, because I’ve been basically sheltered my whole life and to leave my family – it’s just hard,” Bossett said.
She, too, has her Armijo memories, particularly the International Baccalaureate program that challenges students academically.
“It put me through a whole lot of stress,” Bossett said with a laugh.
Colby Wilsoncook also took time to ponder leaving Armijo High School.
“It’s kind of strange,” he said. “But I’m ready for it. I’m one of the oldest seniors in my class – 19 years old.”
He’s just uncertain what will come next. Maybe he’ll get a job, maybe he’ll go to Solano Community College, maybe he’ll do both. But his parents could move to Chico, so he doesn’t know if he’ll move or stay in Fairfield.
“Just time to move into life now,” he said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.