FAIRFIELD — A brief speech by a valedictorian with a long name brought cheers Friday at the Fairfield High School graduation.
Victor Alejandro Ibarra Martinez concluded his remarks by referring to the families of about 300 graduating seniors.
“They’re here to see you graduate,” Martinez said. “And I’m not going to stand in the way of that.”
He returned to his seat with other graduates gathered between the 50- and 40-yard lines at high school football field. Martinez will attend the University of California, Davis and study computer science.
Salutatorian Nicholas Weldon Perrando followed the class valedictorian and noted a national magazine’s account that only about 13 percent of people are happy with their jobs. By that math, Perrando continued, about 40 of the graduates will be happy with what they do.
“Chase dreams, not obligations,” advised Perrando, who said graduates in their lives will face hard times.
“What’s important is that we persevere,” said the salutatorian, who proclaimed “Fairfield Falcons soar” and took a selfie after speaking.
Valoire Quijas, the seniors’ choice guest speaker and Fairfield High teacher, provided a series of tips, including the fact that graduates won’t make $90,000 a year right out of high school.
“If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss,” Quijas also said.
Before you were born, she told graduates, your parents weren’t as boring. They get that way by paying your bills and listening to how cool you are, Quijas said.
“Life is not divided into semesters,” she said – and in real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to a real job.
Cite your sources, concluded the teacher, who credited Bill Gates for the tips she provided.
Kris Corey, superintendent of the Fairfield-Suisun School District, told graduates she recently watched the movie “Frozen” when she wasn’t feeling well and found some wisdom in the film.
Test your limits, she advised. Don’t let fear get in the way.
Walt Disney was a success because he put action behind his dreams, said the superintendent, who offered some final advice.
“When you’re feeling down,” Corey said, “it never hurts to belt out a Disney tune.”
Fairfield resident Amber Lofton-Wade, 21, who was seeing the graduation of friends from when she was at Fairfield High, had advice for seniors as she watched the event.
“Focus on what you want to do,” Lofton-Wade said.
“Make sure you know what you want to do,” she said. “Have a plan.”
Ashlee Powers, a 2006 graduate of Fairfield High School and Colorado Christian University grad, was at the event for her brother, senior Tray Shaw.
Powers said of teacher Quijas’ tips that the advice about the difference between images and reality was particularly compelling.
“Life isn’t like TV,” Folsom resident Powers said. “That’s for sure.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.