The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Richland students say farewell to junior high


Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Ashlyn Martinez celebrates after graduation.

Some 299 eighth-graders bid farewell to Richland Junior High School Thursday night and got a rousing welcome at Shafter High School, on whose football field they received their diplomas.

Richland Junior High Principal Rosa Romero welcomed the attendees, who included parents, faculty, students and friends.

The master and mistress of ceremonies were Adan Vargas and Paula Obeso Gallegos, a.k.a. Tommy and Tammy Trojan. The latter introduced one of the two salutatorians, Charlotte Franz, while Vargas introduced the second salutatorian, Guadalupe Lara.

Franz thanked all of her teachers, as well as her family and fellow students, and said she was looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. She said there will be new opportunities to make new friends, and that she is looking forward to having new teachers and more challenging classes.

Lara said she will always remember her two years at Richland as a time that saw her and her classmates grow into mature students who met every challenge that was put in front of them.

Valedictorian Laura Neufeld then said she loved her time at Richland and that she would miss the teachers who were so helpful as she and her classmates continued to learn and continue to grow as both students and people.

"It will be exciting to join a club or maybe try a sport for the first time," she said.

Neufeld congratulated the Class of 2019 and said she is thankful to God, with whom all things are possible.

Romero presented the class to Shafter High School Principal Russell Shipley, who said he gladly accepts this class of students.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Tommy and Tammy Trojan Adan Vargas and Paula Obeso Gallegos.

"I look out at this group of students, and I don't see an army of Trojans," he said. "What I see is a platoon of future Generals. If I would leave you with any advice as you begin your high school career, it is to not leave after these four years with any regrets.

"I wouldn't want you to say to yourself after the next four years," he continued, "as you are back on this field as graduating seniors, thinking, 'If only,' or 'I should have.' I want you to leave Shafter High knowing that you had a great four years that were ones filled with met challenges and special experiences."

After all of the students had their diplomas, the faculty formed a reception lane off the field and congratulated and shook hands with the graduates as they exited.


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