Granite Bay High School class of 2009 receives send-off

By: Susan Belknap, Press Tribune editor
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Graduation speeches are usually filled with words of wisdom and advice for the graduating class. At Granite Bay High School?s graduation ceremony held Saturday morning, some students spoke of how their high school experience was like a Chipotle burrito. Burritos are filled with lots of ingredients, Michelle Slagle, Granite Bay High School Associated Student Body president told the audience. ?There?s usually lots of rice,? she said. ?And in our class the rice is all the championships, awards and titles our class has won.? After several comparisons of high school life to the variety of ingredients that can go into a burrito, Slagle and ASB cabinet member Connor Bell announced to their fellow graduates, ?We have finally made it to the cash register.? In addition to speeches from Slagle and Bell the ceremony included remarks from three valedictorians, Allen Ding, Lisa Wang and Amy Williams and salutatorians Victoria Cha, Alexandria Smith and Lee Tilford. While the general theme of many of these speeches centered on advising their fellow graduates to take the road in life that features a few curves, spins and bends as opposed to one that offers little variety, Tilford emphasized how he and his fellow graduates had all changed and grown during their time at GBHS. ?As freshmen we didn?t know what we believed in,? Tilford said. ?But our growth has been our most significant achievement and we?ve earned the right to have our own thoughts.? Cha and Ding spoke of dreams and the creativity they can spark. ?Dreamers are the ones who will succeed,? Ding said. ?They can see the universe for what it can become ... in life, it?s all about the climb.? Cha told her fellow graduates that dreams give people purpose. ?No matter what your dream, it?s important to persevere,? she said. In the faculty address given by Granite Bay teachers Brandon Dell?Orto, Karl Grubaugh and Jarrod Westberg, the advice to the graduates was to ?think.? For many of the graduates, it?s memories of good times they will always remember. ?I?m glad 12 years of school is over,? said Matthew Abreu. ?For me the best part of high school was Senior Ball and the end of the year.? Lauren Anderson said she was excited to walk across the stage to receive her diploma. She has plans to be a nurse someday and while she said she?s looking forward to what lies in her future, she said she will miss ?all the friendly people? at GBHS. For some graduates, being active in school activities made their high school years memorable. ?The best part for me was being in the choir,? said Jacqui Bloom. ?There?s such a wide selection of performing arts electives here at Granite Bay. I plan to go to Texas State and major in musical theater. I want to be an actress.? Evari Pickett, who will be attending Clark Atlanta University in the fall, said he has performed in almost every theater production the school has produced since he was a freshman. ?It?s enjoyable being on stage,? he said.