Santa Paula High School Graduation was held last Friday with a capacity crowd of family, relatives, and friends looking on. Above, students celebrate prior to the graduation ceremonies. Photo by Don Johnson

SPHS Graduation 2004

June 23, 2004
Santa Paula High School graduates 320 seniors
Santa Paula High School
By Brian D. Wilson Santa Paula TimesThe weather was perfect for the graduation ceremonies for the Santa Paula High School Class of 2004 Friday.The stands were packed with friends and family of the 320 graduates. After the National Anthem, played by the SPHS band, Sara Martinez, the Salutatorian addressed the gathering.She said, that after thinking about it for several days, she decided to base her talk on procrastination. “This speech was written with the help of procrastination,” Martinez said. “But as I stand before you today I say there is one bad thing about it. Don’t let it become your life. After this day I hope that everybody has some kind of plan, if not that is okay.”She added that her only request was that her classmates do something. “If you are to stay in Santa Paula, which is the greatest thing we can do as alumni, then try to make it a better place,” she told the crowd. “This is the community that you live in, that your children will live in, where your descendants will most likely live and it is the community that you represent, don’t discard it.”Valedictorian Fabian Mauricio kept his remarks short. “The class of 2004 is the class of a new beginning,” Mauricio said. “Let it be the class that will change the future. Siting here before me are tomorrow’s leaders. So take advantage of the gifts each one of you possess and of those around you who cherish you.”He told his classmates to live life to the fullest and to live it as if it were the last day. “Believe in yourself no matter what the odds are and no matter what people have to say,” he added. “You can be anything you want. You will always have those who support you and those who will always be against you. Those who stand beside you are your true friends and you should keep them right by your side.”
Mauricio said to always reach for the impossible because someday you might just get there. “Dreams do come true,” he said. “You can’t just sit back and wait for them to come to you. You have to know what you want and go out and get it. Remember who you are and where you came from; your family, your friends, Santa Paula, but most of all your class, Team Cardinal, the class of 2004.”The final student address came from Senior Class President Raquel Gonzalez. She entitled her talk, “The Age of Innocence.” “Within us we possess roughly 18 years of life, memories of joy and anguish, of challenges and success and we possess the promise, the dream, the unadulterated potential of tomorrow,” she said. “As of this moment, we are allowed to be who we are without shame and dream as big as we want without boundaries. What lies before us is what we make, and no path sounds too aloof as we pave the path of tomorrow.”Principal Tony Guitan congratulated the class of 2004. “Be proud of your accomplishments as a student at Santa Paula High School, be it in academics, athletics, performing arts, leadership, or members of a school club,” he told the class. “I congratulate you for your determination to meet your goals, given these past four years. Tonight I ask you graduates, to take your education to a new level. Continue your education and take what you have learned unto the world, for difficult decisions and major world issues will need to be solved.”Superintendent Dr. David Gomez said he, the staff and board of trustees were very proud of the class of 2004. “I wish you continued success with your education and your life,” he added. “After you leave Santa Paula High School, I strongly encourage you a college degree and go beyond your first college degree. Learning never stops. I strongly believe that if you do your best you can do and be anything you want to be. I also believe that each one of you possesses the ability to do great things for yourselves and for our society.”After the diplomas were passed out, the students gathered together on the football field for about five minutes, so they could say their good-byes to each other before family and friends came onto the field.

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