New Portola High School graduates enter the ‘real world’


Members of Portola High School’s newly graduated Class of 2013 throw their caps up into the air when Principal Sara Sheridan finally announces the class as graduated. After years of hard work and support, the kids will finally be taking the next big step toward their future. Photo by Carolyn Carter

Carolyn Carter
Staff Writer

It was an evening of celebration and congratulations for the 36 Portola High School seniors who all took a giant step toward their future in front of teachers, family and friends Friday, June 14.

The group of kids showed a clear display of camaraderie and gratitude as they laughed and smiled through the occasion. A majority of the students contributed to the ceremony by making speeches or singing songs. The rest sat eagerly through the event waiting to be introduced as the graduated Class of 2013.

Plumas Unified School District Superintendent Micheline Miglis welcomed the class and the large crowd on the field with a theme.

“Do something that matters,” she said, “something that says you were here.”

Seniors McKenna Popish, Klint Williams and Kai Bohm recognized the 16 Golden Graduates of Portola High School’s Class of 1963. After this, Casey Pearson, Joannie Roach and McKenna Popish came up to the podium and walked through the class history, showing that many of the graduates have been going to school together since elementary school.

Sylvia Chimal and Brenna Murray spoke expressing gratitude to teachers, coaches, friends and family members who contributed to the success of each student graduating that day.

Then six senior girls sang “Whenever You Remember” by Carrie Underwood in tribute to the graduating class. Salutatorian McKenna Popish spoke to the class, followed by valedictorian Josephine Bastian.

The keynote speaker was PHS history teacher Richard Martinez, who was recognized by the class for his sense of humor, consideration for the students and habit of wearing a tie and crossing his legs.

In his speech Martinez gave 13 pieces of wisdom for the graduating class of 2013. He shared statements from old cultures such as “caution takes no castles” or “the world turns through partings.” All of the sayings emphasized ways for the students to live their lives to the fullest.

When it came time for the presentation of diplomas the kids were anxious and excited to switch their tassels from right to left. When Principal Sara Sheridan introduced them for the first time as the graduated Class of 2013, every tassel scraped the sky as the teenagers threw their caps joyously into the air. 

As they made their way down the field during the recessional the graduates all had huge smiles on their faces and were greeted by friends, family and teachers with hugs, flowers and congratulations.

Though the future is a looming challenge for many of these new graduates, it is clear they are taking it on with mounds of support and people who believe in them. 


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