Motivated Mustangs

Several graduates said they had been waiting for this moment for more than 10 years, and now that it was finally here, emotions ran the gamut.

“Freaked-out. Scared. Excited. Weird. Bittersweet. Sad. Nervous.” These were just a few of the words bandied about prior to the Minarets High School graduation last week.

Inside the gymnasium, graduates adjusted caps, pinned sashes, triple-checked hair and make-up, helped with neck ties, posed with friends for selfies, and chatted excitedly about what lay ahead. There were high-fives, congratulatory hugs, and playful nudging.

Daniel Albonico wore a money lei made of dollar bills from his family. He called the lei a “measure of my ambitions,” and plans on attending American River College. His dream is to become a solo artist/singer/songwriter; he has a back-up plan, should that not work out - to become a deputy sheriff.

Many graduates spent time colorfully decorating their caps with meaningful messages, like Katrina Moore (Game of Loans, Interest is Coming), who will attend Humboldt State, and her friend Emma Zawolkow (The Power Within), who plans on attending Columbia College. Zawolkow’s grandparents, Sharon and Michael Meinhoff, said they were proud of Emma, that she was the first of their grandchildren to graduate from high school.

It was also a proud moment for the valedictorians, who represented the class of 2015.

“I feel like my efforts in high school were validated, and I’m so happy to represent our senior class,” valedictorian Cierra Bordwine said. She will attend U.C. Davis, majoring in psychology.

Valedictorian Grant Hall echoed Cierra’s sentiments, calling it an honor and an amazing experience. Hall will study chemistry at West Point.

The later the hour got, the more the growing throng of guests spilled over the grassy area, patiently waiting on their graduates. Diana Aranda arrived more than two hours early to ensure prime seating, perfect for cheering on her brother, Tony Diaz. One-year old Ryder Nelson was more interested in the Mustangs than the masses milling by him. He was there with mom, Katrina, and older sister, Kayleen, a Minarets freshman, who passed out programs.

Once the graduates were comfortably seated, Bordwine and Hall took center stage to deliver the speech they had written as a team; an excerpt follows:

“It was John Maxwell who said that ‘Leadership is Influence.’ Our families, our faculty and especially our students, these leaders of our community, are successful because they influence. They are not always the loudest, don’t always have a title, and may not even understand their impact. ... We challenge you to never doubt you are successful, because as long as you continue to influence others, you will continue to succeed.”

Principal Daniel Ching addressed the graduates, saying: “The world is yours. It is time to step forward in your own right on the path that lies before you. You are on the brink of one thousand adventures and everything up to this point has prepared you for it.”

“Be passionate, be driven, have fun, make a difference in your community, take risks, and take time to reflect,” Ching continued. “Remember your roots, your family and the people who love you. We are so very proud of you. You deserve all of the success that will inevitably come your way.”

Post ceremony, the graduates celebrated at Skywalk.

Minarets 2015 Graduates

Daniel Albonico

Geoffrey Scott Ashton

Grace Augustus

Trevor Baker

Danielle Nicole Beck

Meghan Rose Benson

Justin Black

Jacob E. Blankenship

Cierra Ann Bordwine

Chase Preston Boyd

Nash Harding Bryant

Savannah Mary Castro

Raven Ciara Cervantez

Yesenia Chairez-Lechuga

Jonathan Webb Chancey

AnnaRose Chaney

McKenna LaRae Chase

Martina Chavoya

Roberto Aziel Chino

Christian Evan Chorjel

Nicholas P. Cochrane

VanDavis Cummings

Brody Daughrity

Samuel Christopher Delk

Peter James Dembach

Anthony I. Diaz

Amanda Nicole Eaves

Ealish Jene Ellis

Jennifer Ann Ellis

Cassidy LeeAnn Estabrooke

Dante Austin Fabris

Chloe Mae Ferguson

Taylor Kathryn Ferguson

Emily Fisher

Isaiah Forney

Bryanna Ellen Franz

Brook Madyson Gerber

Amelia Augusta Giffen

Olivia Marie Sierra Graffigna

Sabrina Graham

Jayda Shaylene Grossi

Spencer Ryan Grube

Grant R. Hall

Sakoya Rae Hart

Wayne W. Hatfield

Karis Anne Heidebrecht

Mitchell Alan Hendry

Raymond Steven Hernandez

Joelle Patricia Hogg

Makenna Breann Hunziker

Alexandra Destiny Jimenez

Annelise Y. Johnson

Dakota Dawn Johnson

Kyle Robert King

Alyssa Marie Knowlton

Dakota Kudra

Lily Renee Lal

Mallory K. Landon

Abigail Ann LeForge

Baylee A. Levandowski

Bradlee D. Levandowski

Tanner Lopez

Alassandro Lotti

Michael Lynch

Nathan E. Lynch

Justin Ross Manley

Robert Marino

Ruben Saturnino Mata

Christian Tamatsu Matsumoto

Kinsey McDougald

Justin James McLeod

Cody McNaught

Madison Betty Meade

Nicolas D. Medina-Knox

Shelby Mikkelsen

Crystal Rose Miller

Daniel William Monsalve

Brian Moore

Katrina Renee Moore

Nicholas John Moore

Clifford T Munton

Matthew William Ochinero

Hannah Elizabeth Ortiz

Sierra Mae Osborn

Charles Orion Otero

Joseph Parr

Leah Bells Patino

Bowe Peelman

Kaylin Peters

Samuel Adam Peterson

Lyric Gianna ] Piccolotti

Kylie Noel Plantaz

Demi Michèle Pröpper

Jack Roache

Richard J. Rocha

Richard Rocha

Anthony G. Rodriquez

Brandon Wayne Roland

Kaitlyn Romanoff

Samantha Renee Russell

Brandon Sampson

Silvia Jean Sanguinetti

Logan Edward Schafer

Samuel Marshall Schaffner

Dakota Marie Scharnick

Ajay Kumar Sharma

Brandon James Sheets

Dominique Julianna Alexandria Sidoti

Zacharie Stone-Wilkins

Ayawna Nicole Sweat

Dereck Robert Taylor

Sara Cheyan Thiel

Ryan C. Toole

Gavin William Turner

Maribeth Villanueva

John Thomas Bubba Ward

Jesse Weinert

Conner James Wells

Nathan Christopher Wier

Walker Geoffrey Wilkins

Ashley Worgull

Emma Zawolkow