CALEXICO – As the sunset shined strong on the horizon, the Calexico High School Bulldog class of 2017 walked one final time through Ward Field Wednesday afternoon for the 2017 commencement ceremony in front of a stadium full of proud parents and family members.
With the school’s new renovations and senior traditions, Gabrielle Williams, principal of Calexico High, told the 660 graduates of the great honor and pride she had in the senior students who served the school with academic excellence and community service.
“I thank you for being role models that you have been for your peers and your contribution to make CHS a better place for you and for all students,” said Williams.
Victoria Aguilar, senior class president, mentioned in her farewell speech the great impact all the teachers, staff, counselors, families and friends had on the graduates’ journey and the challenging moments the class faced in the last year of high school.
“To participating in skits, clubs and to this very moment, we all leave high school each taking in consideration that no matter where we go or what we do, we’re always going to remain a family,” Aguilar said.
Cheers thundered through the crowded field as graduate Sophia Alvarez performed “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. The graduates threw their hands in the air and clapped along to honor and encourage their fellow classmate.
Eliza Pereda, class advisor for the graduates, shared with attendees words of wisdom and recalled unforgettable moments that made the class of 2017 special.
“First one, love what you do and you’ll never have to work in your life,” said Pereda. “As you go on this new stage of life and you’re trying to decide on a career, keep your passions as your main goal.”
Class salutatorians, Vanessa A. Villegas and Juan S. Gutierrez, each reminded the graduates of the dedication and unity they created throughout the years and the spirit and effort the class achieved to complete a successful senior year.
At last, Valedictorian Angel R. Gonzalez noted to the public the great resources and services the school provided as graduates now start a new path in their lives.
“What makes this community unique is that no matter what, there’s always help on hand available,” said Gonzalez. “All I ask in the future is happiness. I hope each and every one one of you carry their own way of happiness. From all the different paths, we’re all one big family because once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog. Congratulations class of 2017!”