Class of 2012 celebrates at Oakmont High School

Vikings acknowledge the tough times they endured together
By: Stephanie Garcia, Press Tribune contributor
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The Oakmont High School quad was the place to be Friday night as 368 seniors graduated during the 2012 commencement ceremony.

Hundreds of students, friends and family members braved the 100 degree heat to celebrate the occasion by bidding farewell to the past and welcoming new beginnings with open arms.

Many more gathered in the air-conditioned cafeteria to watch a live feed on the big screen and avoid the hot sun.

As the crowd made their way to their seats, pre-recorded heartfelt messages from graduating seniors filled the air thanking their family for supporting them throughout their high school years.

Salutatorians Adit Kothari and John Gray opened the ceremonies and paid tribute to Kathleen Sirovy, Oakmont principal since 2002, who passed away in August. The graduating Vikings acknowledged the tough times they endured together as they found a way to mourn their loss while simultaneously embracing new Principal Rob Hasty.

Valedictorians Moriah Langley and Amanda Haack delivered motivational speeches to their classmates with a firm focus on charting courses and setting goals for the future.

Haack articulated her story of failing a grade and being held back early on. She recounted how she overcame her obstacles and became valedictorian. By recapping her struggles, she reminded students that even if you fail, you can still make a change and achieve tremendous success.

Among the sea of blue caps and gowns, proud parents Mike and Colleen Hendon watched as their son, Cory Hendon accepted his diploma. He will be attending California State University, Chico in the fall and plans on studying business and marketing.

?We are so proud of Cory,? Colleen Hendon said. ?When you are raising teenagers, sometimes you worry about the choices they make and what will happen once they graduate. We are so excited for Cory and we are looking forward to watching him accomplish his goals.?

For Cory Hendon, graduating is exciting and bittersweet.

?It feels surreal. Everything I?ve done in high school and all the choices I?ve made were for this very moment,? he said. ?It was great having my family and friends there supporting me. We are a smaller class, and have known each other since middle school, and some since elementary school. I?m so proud of my friends.?