Virtually every single one of the 1,600 seats on the home side of the stadium were filled with beaming family and friends of the school’s graduating class of nearly 250 students.
“Giving a speech at my own graduation is pretty awesome,” ASB president Domiciano Villa said, noting his graduating class was “always smiling and laughing.”
“The question right now is,’What’s next?’” asked Villa, who signed off with a quote from Benjamin Franklin, “Lost time is never found again.”
“It’s a very simple quote,” noted Villa, who cautioned that, if you take time for granted, it will be “the biggest mistake of your life.”
“I’d like to leave you with three things,” said Villa. “Live life to the fullest. Follow your aspirations. And the most important of all, this is just the beginning of our lives. We have our whole lives ahead of us.”
Senior class president Colin Tandy gave a shout-out to a friend celebrating his birthday before describing the Class of ’15 as “an assortment of athletes, scholars, musicians, activists, artists, leaders and surfers.
“We’re proud of our accomplishments, and look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for us,” said Tandy, who thanked “the administration, our incredible coaches, teachers who taught us and inspired us, our families who support us and love us and our friends with whom we’ll share this memory.”
Tandy closed with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may be. Instead, go where there’s no path and leave a trail.”
“Go Bucs!” concluded Tandy.
Valedictorian Vanessa Figueroa, a professed “introvert,” said four years of high school were difficult while adding, “But as you know, very much worth it.”
Figueroa implored her classmates to “remain kind through your own vision and efforts,” while imploring them to “never lose sight of who you are.”
“The day has finally come for us to move forward and begin the next stages of our lives,” Figueroa said.
Salutatorian Hannah Lobato made reference to the fleetingness of the moment noting, “Most of the anecdotes I share will soon be forgotten or have little impact.” She said she’d be remiss in not thanking the school administration for its “dedication, patience and accessibility in the classroom, which is what assured us that we got to this point today.”
Lobato said the details of the Class of ’15 graduation ceremony “will wear and fade with time, but the memories of anxiety and heartache and happiness and joy will live on.”
“The Class of ’15 has officially made it,” Lobato concluded.
Principal Ernest Remillard, who previously was principle at Pacific Beach Middle School, is the first principal to preside over a graduating class in the high school’s new stadium. He told graduates, “I’m so proud to be your principal.”
Pointing out how much those he new previously in middle school have grown during their “rigorous 12-plus years of education,” Remillard added, “Now is time for that next step. Many of you have plans to continue your education, join the military or start a career. Whichever path you take, please remember the experiences that you had here at Mission Bay.
“Remember the staff sharing the gift of knowledge and the coaches who challenged you on the field, the court or the pool. Remember the friends who shared in these experiences and the times you turned to one another in support. I know you will be successful.”