School: Barstow High School
Ceremony: 7 p.m. June 1 on campus
Number of graduates: 315
Year of commencement: 101st
Ceremony performances: National Anthem sung by graduate Seran Choe.
Valedictorians: Harmony Becerra — attending University of California Los Angeles; Andrew Espinoza — attending UCLA; David Maestas — attending Cal Poly Pomona; Jose Rubio — attending the U.S. Air Force Academy. All valedictorians graduated with a 4.21 grade point average.
Salutatorian: Hannah Ramirez — graduating with a 4.1 GPA and attending UC Irvine.
Words to remember: Valedictorian Harmony Becerra — “... I want to urge you to pursue whatever you are passionate about no matter how irrelevant other people may view it. If it is something you love to do, do it and do it well. Do not let anything or anyone stop you because with hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of faith, the world is ours.”
Valedictorian Andrew Espinoza — “I would like to remember the life lessons we have learned during our time at BHS. First, we learned to work hard … Also, we learned to persevere … Lastly, we learned to surround ourselves with people who inspire the best in us. Our class, although competitive, stood as one in the most crucial moments. Personally, I am forever grateful for the inspiration I have been provided, because without it, I would not be here tonight.”
Valedictorian David Maestas — “We are surrounded by the people who have stood behind us in the past whispering of our potential and giving us the courage to cross so many thresholds before … We now have the opportunity to make our mark. So I say to you, the class of 2017, let us stand here together, throw this door open and show the world that not only CAN we make this world a better and brighter place, BUT WE WILL.”
Jose Rubio Jr. — “It has been four long years since we started high school … All of the experiences, plus the emotions, plus the friends, plus the memories, plus everything else that comes with high school, multiplied by four long arduous years is still less than the infinite possibilities of success and happiness that is in store for each and every one of us. Our highest joys today will be nothing compared to the greatness that lies ahead.”
Salutatorian Hannah Ramirez — After describing how she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a semifinals soccer game last year when an opposing player slide tackled her and pulled her jersey, Ramirez said it took a year of recovery and the help of loved ones for her to make it back on the field, where she “played every game like it were to be my last.”
“Class of 2017, I want to leave you with one thing to remember: When the world grabs you by the jersey and pulls you down, pick yourself back up, work towards your goals, and leave it all on the field.”