In keeping with tradition, students tossed their caps at the end of the graduation ceremony.
Tears were shed, laughs were shared and tassels were turned at the 100th graduation ceremony of Mariposa County High School, held Friday, June 10.
Proud parents and friends filled the Gold Bowl at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds and cheered as 136 students received their diplomas and moved on to the next phase of their lives. And as at any graduation, plenty of astute advice was shared with the graduating students.
Senior class president Megan Snyder opened the addresses by telling the audience their “unconditional support” helped the students “grow into the men and women we are today.”
Superintendent Robin Hopper shared words of wisdom with the graduates, telling them to enjoy the journey, not be afraid to fail, keep dreams alive and determine their self-worth.
Snyder told the graduating class that “we finally did it” and she will remember each of her friendships “fondly.”
“Be ready for the next step in life and be ready to make it worthwhile,” Snyder said in conclusion.
Snyder was followed by Superintendent Robin Hopper, a former graduate of MCHS.
Hopper told the students that life is “all about the journey.”
Lukas Hart, far right, leads one side of students into the Gold Bowl at the start of the ceremony. Hart was one of six valedictorians. He addressed the crowd later on, alongside fellow valedictorian Noah Rockwood (third from left).
“Decide without apology to commit to the journey, and not to the outcome,” Hopper said.
Hopper told the students that failure is OK.
“It sounds little contrite, it sounds a little odd, but if I hadn’t had the failures that I’ve had in my life to date, I wouldn’t have the strength to have gotten through the challenges in life that I’ve had to get through to be here today,” Hopper said. “Failure makes grit, and grit makes strength. You have to have strength to get through life.”
Many parents and other loved ones gathered after commencement to congratulate their graduates with balloons and other gifts.
Hopper’s third piece of advice was to not let people destroy your dreams through “subtle ways.”
“Hold fast to your dreams,” Hopper said. “It doesn’t matter what somebody else thinks about what you want to do. … It matters what your goal is.”
Finally, Hopper urged the students to determine their own self-worth.
“You also have to forgive yourself, love yourself, be kind to yourself,” Hopper said.
Following Hopper’s address, Tom Medema, Chief of Interpretation and Education for Yosemite National Park, addressed the crowd.
Students had plenty to be happy about as they earned their diplomas.In a humorous moment, Medema took a Snapchat photo with the students who were sitting below the stage. But even as playful as that was, Medema urged students and those in attendance to value the area they come from, making sure areas such as Yosemite are preserved “for all those things you love to do, for all people, for all time.”
MCHS teacher Bryan Starchman delivered his address following Medema. Starchman reflected on how special Mariposa is.
“I know that I speak for all of us when I say we would love to have you come back home again someday,” said Starchman. “Class of 2016, you taught me what 100 years of Grizzly pride looks like.”