The Foresthill High School Graduation ceremony was held on June 1, 2019 at 9:00 am. The ceremony proved to be a very impressive and intimate celebration. Upon entering the school grounds, the Foresthill Lions Club directed traffic and parking. The stadium seats and bleachers were rapidly filling. Families were finding each other and many smiling, happy people were ready to celebrate. The weather was perfect with blue skies and mild temperature. As the announcement was made that the ceremony would begin in 5 minutes excitement rose as parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and friends scrambled for their seats or positions for photo opportunities.
The traditional Pomp and Circumstance played loud, crisp and clear over the sound speakers at 9:00 sharp. The excitement grew as the graduation procession advanced. First to enter the stadium was Mr. Randy Ittner, Principal and the Foresthill High School Administration, followed by the Foresthill High School Faculty and the fifty seniors ready to graduate. As each graduate walked past you could not help but notice all the decorated mortar boards, beautiful flower leis, different sashes, and the fun the seniors were having. Guests were cheering, taking photos of their graduate and being overwhelmed with the moment. It was nice to see the community so exuberant.
The national anthem was sung beautifully by Serene Fuller, a graduating senior. Mr. Ittner, the principal, stated that he was extremely proud of this class, noting all the hard work the graduating students did. Mr. Ittner listed many of the accomplishments of this class, citing 1ten students were Valedictorians, one student was Salutatorian, twenty-four students were awarded the 2019 Golden State Seal Merit Diplomas, ten students were awarded the 2019 State Seal of Biliteracy, the California Scholarship Federation award went to six seniors and the Foresthill High School 2019 female Athlete of the year was Cassandra Ralston and the male athletes for 2019 were Casey Baldwin and Justin Leyba. Other achievements by seniors included completion of the Information Communications Technology (ICT) Pathway by twenty-one students, six students completed the Forestry and Natural Resources Pathway and the Automotive Pathway was completed by six seniors. In addition to these accomplishments there was a total of fourteen community, organizational and awards scholarships given to six well deserving Foresthill High School seniors. High praise was given to all the students in the 2019 Graduating Class, not just for academics, but for being good people. Mr. Ittner’s final words to the Class of 2019 were “Follow your passion and reach your goals. Remember you will always be a part of the Wildfire family”.
Katherine Cantrell, a faculty member, had the honor of speaking about the ten Valedictorians. Yes, ten Valedictorians are more than the normal, but Ms. Cantrell shared that “this is an extremely special class, all of them!” To achieve this honor the requirements were: 4.0 or better grade point average, three advance placement (AP) classes or be enrolled in college classes while at FHS, and to meet the general education requirements. The ten Valedictorians Casey Baldwin, Elizabeth Bradley, Serene Fuller, Anna Kampp, Macayla Knibbe, Megan Knudsvig, Erik Lysen, Patrick Mellady, Cassandra Ralston and AutumnSky Rosenberg. The Salutatorian is number two in the class and that honor went to Joshua Ezra. Each of these students presented a short speech to the Class of 2019. The Valedictorians speeches imparted words of wisdom, gratitude for family, friends, teachers, coaches and the for the Foresthill High School experience. Some of the comments the Valedictorians shared with their class of 2019 were “Late nights, hard work, we made it!”, “You can accomplish anything, it’s up to you”, “Be kind, you don’t have to be perfect, God loves you, don’t be a turd”, “You are a rock star”, “You are all shooting stars”, “Never say good bye, say see you later”, “We are who we are because of Foresthill High School”. Many wonderful comments about family support and gratitude for their help during the four years of high school was stated numerous times. Also, many teachers were noted as having special impact on the individual students.
The diploma presentations were the most interesting element of the program. The student name was called and they would go up on stage to accept their diploma, shaking hands with the principal, Mr. Ittner and Ms. Maureen Ward of the school board. They would then pose for a picture with their diploma and return to their seat. While this was occurring, a faculty member read a short essay that was written by the graduating senior. The content was about their experience at Foresthill High School, immediate plans for after high school, long range goals, and many thank yous to special people in their lives. Colleges in state and out of state were mentioned as the graduate’s next big adventure. Others mentioned going into the military, traveling, working for a while, going into automotive area or taking some more time to figure out what their passion might be. All of the students learned a lot at FHS, they learned to be hard workers, respectful individuals, and learned to be grateful for all the help they accepted along their journey. The audience watched all these exquisite, young adults with their dreams, hopes, and their lives ahead of them collect their diplomas and turn their tassels from right to left completing the twelve year process of education. Cheers erupted from family and friends, cameras were clicking nonstop and once again, some tears were flowing, the graduation was over. The Class of 2019 received well deserved congratulations!
The Foresthill High School Class of 2019 consists of Casey Baldwin, Elizabeth Bradley, Serene Fuller, Anna Kampp, Macayla Knibbe, Megan Knudsvig, Erik Lysen, Patrick Mellady, Cassandra Ralston, AutumnSky Rosenberg, Joshua Ezra, Ezra Aldrich, Kari Anderson, Ryan Brewer, Meredith Carpenter, Allison Chase, Ethan Coles, Colton Conner, Benjamin Esparza, Guillermo Estrada, Samuel Gilbert, Luke Godon, Chance Grove, Alyssa Harrison, Jillian Hughes, Kaden Johnson-Whitemen, Alona Kirkman, Kayla Knudsvig, Daniel LaPorte, Justin Leyba, Rikki Littleragingwaters, Amber Mackay, Abigail Mader, Annabelle Mader, Chet Matz, Maryssa Mckee, Hannah Mosey, Ricardo Napoles, Carsen Ponce, Jaycob Ponce, Steven Radford, Logan Reed, Jordan Reeves, Robert Schredl, Skyler Tuttle, Tiffany Varela, Jered Vculek, Petra Whittle, Hunter Williams and Wyatt Yorston.