By Rachel Goings
On the evening of June 2, the family and friends of 43 graduates gathered at Feather River College to celebrate Plumas Charter School’s class of 2023.
PCS Executive Director, Taletha Washburn welcomed guests and thanked her team for their consistency, good programs and copious amounts of love and support that they give to students.
“Through the hardships over the last several years, we have learned to rely on our communities to support each other through times of need. We in Plumas County are so very lucky to have each other,” said Washburn.
One student from each learning center addressed their fellow seniors and audience of supporters. Skyler Baldwin from the Chester Learning Center congratulated his classmates and thanked the support networks that helped the graduates throughout their K-12 education. “I’ve learned that life is not easy, it’s really difficult sometimes. That’s where all of our parents, all of our families and friends have helped us by caring for us and uplifting us. Thank you, all,” said Baldwin.
The Quincy Learning Center was represented by the dynamic-sister duo of Alex and Gregorie Manicas-Buey. The siblings thanked several PCS teachers and staff members that had an impact on their educational journey and futures, including their mother and PCS teacher Marlyn Manicas.
The ladies shared about their plans to attend university in Prague, and noted all of the different directions their classmates are going after graduation; some to college, some to work and some to travel. “We hope that wherever our paths take us, that we will all carry the values of compassion, tolerance and integrity we have learned here, so that we can bring the best of Plumas County to the world,” they said.
Jacob Cook of Indian Valley Academy reflected on his life-long love of cars, using a metaphor describing a road representing their lives and themselves as the car making the journey through it. “When we make any journey, it is essential that we make sure our cars are prepared for the journey ahead,” explained Cook. He encouraged the audience to change their emotional tires so that the wear and tear doesn’t eventually cause a blowout and to be on the lookout for life’s warning lights.”Most importantly, we should use our pit crew; our friends and family who support us at every step.”
PCS Quincy Site Director, Patrick Joseph was the evening’s keynote speaker. Like the seniors, the 2022-2023 school year marks Joseph’s last year with PCS. In his last speech, he described his educational journey at multiple high school and college campuses, overcoming learning challenges and figuring out his path in life, eventually leading to a career in the military and as an educator.
“There’s no one way to pursue college or career goals; trade school, community college, university, going overseas or entering the workforce-just do it with purpose and the focus necessary to achieve exactly what you want,” said Joseph.
Nine of the graduating seniors completed a career-technical-education pathway and wore a color cord representing their field of study. Washburn explained that the intent of the CTE program is to provide students with hands-on experience in living-wage career fields of interest to better prepare them for the workforce or post-secondary education. The seniors that completed the program were asked to stand for a round of applause.
The presentation of scholarships followed. Alicia Hammerich from Greenville Rotary and Bob Mcllroy from the Indian Valley Bar Association were present to announce award recipients. IVA Site Director, Ryan Schramel and Quincy Site Coordinator, Brittani Wade announced additional scholarships. (Scroll down to read the list of scholarships and awards).
Up next was the rose ceremony, in which each student handed out two flowers to people in the audience who had been influential in getting them to where they are today.
The presentation of diplomas followed. Each site director/coordinator– Keri Reed from the Chester Learning Center, Ryan Schramel from Indian Valley Academy and Brittini Wade from the Quincy learning center– introduced the graduates from that site. Joining Washburn in presenting diplomas was Steve Hill, president of the PCS board of directors.
All PCS teachers in attendance lined up in front of the stage to congratulate graduates as they returned to their seats.
Class of 2023
The Class of 2023 includes students who had joined PCS at different stages of their educational journey. Some had been with the school since kindergarten, while others transferred in elementary, middle or high school.
PCS is a personalized learning school, which means students can pursue their education at their own pace, leaving time to pursue personal interests, college courses and employment. Several students leveraged the opportunities of self-paced learning and concurrent college enrollment to graduate early.
Plans for the future include attending community college locally or elsewhere, pursuing four-year degrees, entering (or continuing) in the workforce, joining the military or taking a gap year. Before inviting graduates to turn their tassels and toss their caps, Chester Site Director, Keri Reed offered thanks and closing remarks to the graduating class.
Congratulations to Plumas Charter School’s Class of 2023! Cruz Anderson, Skyler Baldwin, Serenity Bowers, Blake Bridges, Jenna Bridges, Cassie Brown, Lewis Carmichael, Trent Cash, Jacob Cook, Christopher Crandell, Joshua Craven, Alexandra Crume, Devyn Culver, Alexander Daniel, Bethany Dahlsten, Andrew Dolezal, Isabel England, River Joseph, Sophia Kelley, Justine Kloppenborg, Tara Langley, Zachary Langrehr, Alex Marincas-Buey, Gregorie Manincas-Buey, Aidan McIntyre, Kiley McMillan, Sierra Osorio, Lilly Pabon, Connor Quade, Chase Rose, Jameson Rothgery, Kendra Sell, Jake Smalley, Presley Sordi, Angela Standley, Francisca Standley, Andrew Story, Aaron Tiegs, Harlie Tissot, Morgan Tyler, Honisty Tuell, Hailey White and Marlin Zittrer.
Rachel Goings is the public relations specialist for Plumas Charter School
Scholarships and awards:
Indian Valley Bar Association
Indian Valley Riding and Roping Club
Lake Almanor Elks Lodge
Plumas County Association of Realtors
Plumas County Management Council
Art, Media & Entertainment
Food Service and Hospitality
Software Systems (I.T.)