RANCHO SANTA FE — A total of 88 students — 36 girls and 52 boys — graduated from R. Roger Rowe School in Rancho Santa Fe, poised to take the next step on their academic ladder.
The event, held June 14 at the Garden Club, saw every one of the 433 seats filled with proud family and friends.
Many more stood during the ceremony.
Abi Shearer, a second-grader, greeted guests and handed them programs as they entered.
When “Pomp and Circumstance” began to play, the class of 2012 walked two-by-two, and sometimes three-by-three, to seats reserved for them at the foot of the gazebo, which had already been filled by school officials.
First to speak was Lindy Delaney, district superintendent, who told the graduates they were about to move on.
“You are ready,” she said. “We are excited for you.”
She also pointed out this would probably be the last time they would be together as a group.
Graduate Emily Graham gave the annual “A Time To Say Thank You,” speech to the school’s staff, their parents and others who have supported the class over the years at the school.
Jim Depolo, school board president, gave the main address. “This is the longest time you will spend at any school, even graduate school,” he said, noting that many of the students have been there since kindergarten.
With the strong foundation they have built at Rowe, he urged them to never stop learning.
“We hope we have taught you how to learn,” he said. “Now we want you to build on what you have learned.”
He said they have been taught in many ways, traditionally and alternatively.
“Learning about roller coaster physics was pretty fun,” he said referring to a field trip taken by the class.
Depolo said that sometimes when the students take tests in the future, they may know the answer that is expected is not the answer that is true.
He said if these students had taken a test in the 1400s, the correct answer would have been that the earth was flat.
“What about the Wright Brothers flying?” he asked. He urged students to identify their passion and follow their dreams.
“Now go out and make us proud,” Depolo said.
Next academic and athletic awards were given.
Jane Mezzino, student council president, gave the graduation address where she noted how quickly the time has passed and that the graduates were more like family than classmates.
Then the diplomas were presented to the graduates. It is a tradition that school board members and former board members be allowed to bestow a diploma if they have a son or daughter who is graduating. Carly Hedapohl bestowed a diploma on her son Travis.
After the ceremony, the celebration continued at a dinner and party back at the school’s campus.