Woodbridge holds 2017 commencement

By Scott Bleile

A bright, sunny day greeted the 2017 graduating class of Woodbridge High School as they entered the football stadium amidst cheers from parents and friends who gathered to watch the commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 4. As they crossed the field to music provided by the high school band, the graduates were led into the stadium by former principal Robert Adams, who was principal when the graduates entered high school as freshmen. The graduates waved and smiled as they took their seats on the stage.

Current principal Kent Chase welcomed the graduates and friends and family attending the event. 'We are here to celebrate a milestone in these graduates lives,' Chase told the crowd. 'We are very proud of their accomplishments and the hard work they have done over their four years. They are one step closer to achieving their goals. Academics and leadership have led our student speakers to the podium.'
Karen Breeding, who teaches agriculture at Woodbridge, introduced the Salutatorian, Elizabeth Manlove. 'Beth has worn many uniforms in her years here at Woodbridge High School,' Breeding said. 'She is a very compassionate and competitive individual and many great things await her in the future.'
'Today we start the course to adulthood,' Manlove told the audience. 'We have used failure to succeed. It has not been easy over the last four years. We have failed and learned from those failures and worked to succeed. We have many memories of our time here at Woodbridge and our memories have never been dull. When I came here in middle school, I found I relied on my classmates to help. Over these years, we have worked hard and had many great accomplishments of the teams I have been a part of and throughout the school. Whatever our class does - teachers, farmers, doctors or whatever you decide to do - we will reach our goals. You are the author of your own life, make something of it.'

James Weiler, who teaches English at Woodbridge, introduced the class Valedictorian, Magdalena Limon-Gutierrez. 'The valedictorian represents the top achievement for a student. I have had the privilege of teaching Magdalena for four years. She has worked hard and has closed the distance between dreams and reality.'
'Our four years have seen many firsts and lasts,' Limon-Gutierrez told the audience. 'We were the first to win a science award; first to win a football state championship, last to be born in the 20th century, last to be in the old high school. We have come together as a family and we support each other. As our peers have struggled, we have all helped them get through it. We have had the support of parents, teachers and administrators to reach this day. Everyone has put in the effort to make changes. These changes will help in college and in life. Throw your stone and make the ripples of change.'
Class Secretary Jaycie Kerrick presented the class gift to Principal Chase. 'We are giving the school a fully integrated podium to use for events,' Kerrick said to the audience. Chase thanked the class for the gift and let them know it will be put to good use.
After the presentation of the diplomas, Class President Courtney Taylor gave the class farewell address. 'We have done many great things together as a class. We have had great times during our four years. We have a bright future and with hard work we will accomplish anything.'
Woodbridge Superintendent Heath Chasanov closed the ceremony by wishing the class good luck in whatever they do and reminding them to thank their parents for all of their help in getting them to this day in their lives.
Chasanov then certified that the class had met the requirements to graduate and Taylor led the class in the changing of the tassels, along with the tossing of the caps into the air. The Woodbridge High School class of 2017 then walked out into their future.

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