FAIRFIELD — More than 500 seniors graduated Thursday from Armijo High School in ceremonies held at the football stadium where three salutatorians and five valedictorians spoke.
Israel Vega, 18, whose 4.5 grade point average placed him among valedictorians, quoted comedian Stephen Colbert’s serious observation that “service is love made visible.”
Vega will attend the University of California, Davis, and study computer engineering.
He said before he spoke at the ceremony that Armijo sets a high academic standard.
“But it’s worth it,” Vega said.
Diego Alcantar, Jacob Less, Alicia Perez and Leilani Reyes were also valedictorians at the graduation. Janine Alcordo, Linh Nguyen and Yixuan Zheng were salutatorians.
Fairfield resident Sly Morris, 68, wore a Team Lawrence shirt for his graduating twin grandsons Malik and Marques Lawrence, 17.
Morris said the event Thursday would be the last graduation he’ll attend until his great-grandchildren complete high school.
Little Rock, Ark., resident Angie Rounsavall flew to California to see her niece Casady Rounsavall graduate. The elder Rounsavall, who graduated from high school 40 years ago, wasn’t unloading a lot of wisdom-of-the-ages to Armijo High graduate Casady Rounsavall.
“I just told her how proud I was,” Angie Rounsavall said.
Jose Herrera, standing in line to enter the stadium where his son Jose Herrera would graduate, said graduation is a big deal.
“It’s huge,” the elder Herrera said.
Armijo High School teacher Brent Marlowe was dressed in a black gown to attend his last graduation as a full-time teacher at the school. Marlowe, who is retiring, began teaching 18 years ago at Armijo after beginning a second career that followed years as a baker.
The UC Berkeley graduate said he loved the energy and ideas that came with classroom work.
“It’s like a state of grace,” Marlowe said of teaching. “Redemption through service.”
Graduating senior Caleb Lally, 17, dressed in a purple gown and wearing sunglasses, was grateful for the education he received at Armijo.
“They prepare you for everything,” Lally said.
He will attend Solano Community College and plans a career in law enforcement.
Samantha Beckerdite, 17, said as she got ready to enter the stadium that her four years at Armijo flew by.
“It came so fast,” she said of graduation.
Adrian Hernandez Ponce, 18, placed the day among the most significant in his life.
“It’s definitely in the top 10,” he said.
For Harmony Resnen, 18, who’ll attend Diablo Valley College, the end of high school marks the closing of the era that started with elementary school.
“It’s something you’ve been doing your whole life,” she said of school before beginning college. “Now it’s over.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.