Susan Dalrymple sat in the bleachers in Beaumont High School’s football stadium on June 4, looking forward to seeing her son Bryce accept his diploma.
Dalrymple was accompanied by her parents, John and Linda Benson, and her friend, Ron Champagne.
Dalrymple said she was very excited and happy to see her 18-year-old son graduate from Beaumont High.
“Can’t believe how time has gone by this quick,” said Dalyrymple.
The stadium’s football field was filled with 481 seniors about to become graduates once they walked across the stage and accepted their diploma.
Before the ceremony, the high school seniors spent time with their families and friends in the football stadium bleachers, hugging and taking pictures before the huge milestone transitioned them into adulthood.
Kevin Vasquez, 18, took pictures with his mom, Tammy Vasquez, and other family members.
On graduation day, Vasquez said he ironed his clothes and polished his shoes.
His mom said she was very nervous about the upcoming ceremony.
“I had to work today. Excited for him,” said Vasquez.
Bob Arrojado and his wife, Juvy, made a sign to hold up so their daughter, Sarah Jo, could see it when she walked along the field. Decorated in red, white and blue, it said “Dearest Sarah Jo. Very proud of you!’’
This was the second Beaumont High School graduation for the Arrojado family, who have lived in Beaumont for three years. They moved from the Philippines in 2009 to the United States and lived in Alabama before relocating to Southern California.
Sarah Jo was graduating cum laude and was a member of the National Honor Society, the tennis team and the Interact Club.
Her dad said she plans to study environmental science at the University of California, Davis.
The processional started at 5:45 p.m. and took half the time to complete this year than last year.
Outgoing Principal Marilyn Saucedo greeted the soon-to-be grads. She told them that life isn’t easy and there will be difficult decisions to make along the way. Saucedo also told them to expect a lot out of themselves as they start their journey in life.
On a personal note, she said, “Choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.”
Saucedo also reminded them that their alma mater was chosen 412 out of 2,042 high schools in California and 1,988 out of 47,000 high schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.
School board president Margaret DeLongchamp acknowledged all of the grads going into the military and the family and friends in the audience who are currently in service, or are veterans.
DeLongchamp reminded the grads that Beaumont will always be their home.
“You will always be a part of Beaumont, no matter where you go,” she said.
Associated Student Body President Ashra Tugung told the grads to remember their teachers and friends who supported them.
And remember to give a pat on the back to themselves. “You’re here,” said Tugung. “Be proud of 13 years of schooling and you’re finally done.”
As the graduates were greeted by Superintendent Maureen Latham, board members and high school counselors, the audience got a chance to hear about the graduates’ future plans.
Many were going on to universities and colleges; others were going into the work force right away.
As for their majors, they varied from civil engineering and journalism, to make-up artists and medicine.
It took approximately 45 minutes to hand out the diplomas.
Then, the grads switched their tassels, threw their caps into the air and celebrated their accomplishments.
After the ceremony, they met up with their families near the softball field.
Debbie Nelson had been waiting to see her son, Justin Nelson, 18. His reaction to graduating? “Great. Fantastic. Ecstatic. I get to sleep.”
Nelson said they couldn’t be more proud. “We love this school and this community,” she said.
Nakoda Smith, 17, said she is planning to join the Air Force. She spent her graduation day with family.
What she will miss most will be “the activities and the people and close friends.”
Kelcie Smith, 17 (no relation to Nakoda), said she wants to start at a community college, then transfer to a four-year university to earn her business degree.
Realizing she was a graduate was very surreal for Smith. She said she knew exactly who to thank.
“Honestly, the teachers. I wouldn’t be here without them and my family.’’
Commencement speeches can be found on the Record Gazette’s Web site at http://www.recordgazette.net/news/schools/article_01e7eab2-f25b-11e3-bd56-0019bb2963f4.html