VCHS class of 2013 celebrates graduation
June 19, 2013Friends, family, faculty and students packed Jaguar Stadium Thursday night to honor the graduates of Valley Center High School in the 2013 commencement ceremony.
The 307 graduates filled the center of the field as the VCHS band played the traditional Pomp and Circumstance, then the VCHS Senior Choir sang the National Anthem to open the evening's events.
Principal Ron McCowan welcomed everyone and introduced the three student speakers and the faculty speaker, who delivered humorous, touching speeches.
First came ASB Vice-President Anthony Cozzi, who highlighted some of his fondest memories from his time at VCHS, including teacher John Ward's cherubic performance as Cupid and varsity volleyball coach Alan Dale's sizzling bacon dance. He also encouraged his classmates to remember these good times throughout their lives, especially when life gets discouraging.
The next speaker was Salutatorian Kaylee Hudson, who recognized the deep significance of receiving a diploma, for the physical representation not only of all the hard work put in over the past four years, but also of the limitless possibilities of what is yet to come.
She reminisced about the journey through each of the four years, and how the awkward, unsure freshmen they were became confident, self-assured graduates they are today. She also shared the most important lesson she learned in her time at VCHS, saying that, "I'm not defined by my successes, but rather how I deal with my failures and recover from disappointment."
Valedictorian Brett Henderson took the stage next, and admitted with a smile that his speech came together only after a bout with procrastination that included an inordinate number of microwave pizzas. He went on to note that procrastination has been turned into an art form by many of his generation, but that the lessons he learned at VCHS failed to cover this particular aspect of modern life.
He did, however, share some of the lessons learned in Valley Center, including the danger inherent in enjoying the pleasant spring scent of the orange blossoms when one knows a whiff of the chicken farm is imminent. Some of the lessons may not translate to more urban settings—such as a Valley Centerite "going green" by driving down Cole Grade on a new John Deere—but he went on to say how much he appreciates the hard work of the VCHS staff in preparing him and his classmates for their future, no matter where they may end up.
The final speaker of the evening was Mickey Chew, a teacher at VCHS selected by the students to deliver an address during graduation. Chew spoke briefly but inspirationally about what it means to be successful, citing many of history's most illuminated minds for the various definitions of what success means—from Woody Allen's declaration that "Eighty percent of success is just showing up," to Mark Twain's idea that only two things are necessary for success—ignorance and confidence—to the notion put forth by Ralph Waldo Emerson that "To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived is to have succeeded."
With the sun quickly setting over the field, Principal McCowan introduced the class of 2013 to Supt. Lou Obermeyer, who gladly accepted the class and, in keeping with VCHS tradition, recognized the 144 students who began their education in kindergarten here in Valley Center.
With that, the class of 2013 moved the tassels of their graduation caps from the right side to the left, signifying their completion of their secondary education.
The class of 2013 was dismissed and tossed their hats into the air before the field was filled with family and friends who snapped photos, shared hugs and congratulated the graduates.