Woodcreek seniors end on a high note

'Have the courage to follow your your dreams,' says student speaker
By: Laura O'Brien, Press Tribune contributor
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Community involvement, along with academic and athletic accomplishments, marked the Woodcreek High School class of 2012.

?I can?t recall a senior class ending on such a high note,? said Principal Jess Borjon in his address to the 488 graduates Friday night. ?This spring was awesome.?

He highlighted the track and field, soccer, softball and baseball teams.

Mark Hughes and Corey Ruder were named valedictorians while Riley Murray and Lauren Cho shared the honor of salutatorian.

?The class of 2012 leaves the classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015 with the school in an upswing and a responsibility to continue that path,? said Murray, during his address.

Murray said the 2012 class took and passed more AP exams than any other class. They were awarded $1 million in scholarships, double the amount of previous classes, and more members of the 2012 class are going to California state universities than any class in school history.

Outside of academics, Cho said her class participated in ?more community service and involvement than ever before.?

She choked up when she acknowledged she did not know many of her fellow classmates. She said she had hoped to become more outgoing when she started high school.

?Everyone wants to leave behind a legacy,? she said. ?We just have to believe that we are capable of making an impact on the world around us. Don?t make the same mistake that I did four years ago and fall back to what is familiar in the face of change. Change is coming. Decide to be a person of influence and have the courage to follow your dreams.?

Prior to the ceremony, senior boys gathered in the school?s large gym, while girls lined up in the small gym.

?I?m looking forward to college and an enjoyable summer that I?ll always remember,? said Hernan Oviedo, a member of the cross country team.

Conner Gray said he planned to start a shooting club at Sierra College.

?I have most of the paperwork filled out already,? he said.

While seniors scrambled to get in their places, their families wistfully looked back and looked forward to the future for the graduates.

Chris and Cyndi Whitecotton are sending their second daughter to college.

?We?ll miss her being small through the years,? Chris Whitecotton said. ?But it?s good to see her grow up and fly the coop.?

Samantha Whitecotton will attend California State University, Monterey Bay. Her parents said she hopes to play for the water polo team there. Whitecotton swam and played water polo at Woodcreek.

Amrin Lally, a Woodcreek sophomore, contemplated life without his big sister, Simran Lally, who is headed to the University of California, Santa Barbara this fall.

?The house is going to be mine,? he said.