By Patrick Dillon
exeter – Along with thousands of high schools from around the country Exeter Union High School’s Class of 2017, all 178 of them, walked across the all-weather track to receive their diplomas. Of the graduates many will go onto live out their high school dreams or realize new ones while going through the next stage of their lives. Yet the overall message to the graduates was a saying that has become popular around the EUHS campus, “Forever a Monarch.”
Exeter’s Principal Bob Mayo said it best when he addressed the graduates one final time, “Graduates, tonight concludes your time at Exeter Union High school, but the ‘E’ should never come off, remember to always choose greatness, as you make your tomorrow better than your today.”
Exeter Valedictorian Andrea Anez spoke about the acronym the school use as a code of conduct, P.R.I.D.E. Spelled out it stands for: Purpose, Responsibility, Integrity, Duty and Excellence.
“I know that as I say this some students might be rolling their eyes. I get it; as of a year ago I felt the same way,” said Anez. “However, there are some students who live this motto every day.”
For the first three, purpose, responsibility and integrity Anez honored three students who lived by those qualities, Rocio Cortez, Christina Murphy and Ronald “RJ” Jones.
Cortez was a daughter of immigrants who excelled in school despite having to learn another language. RJ had suffered the loss of his parents and time in juvenile hall to become the main caregiver of three siblings and be able to wrestle. And Murphy had faced a broken home to earn a scholarship to UC Irvine.
For duty, Anez had each one of her four classmates stand to be recognized.
Then there was excellence and in Anez’s words, “the class of 2017 is killing it.” Some of the achievements of the Class of 2017 include; five students signed national letters of intent to play college sports, FFA students won national competitions, while a total of 48 students are headed straight into four-year universities.
“I hope you can say at the end of this high school experience and in your life henceforth, ‘I did it all,’” said Anez.
The 2016-2017 ASB President Olivia Harden also touched on the excellence of the Class of 2017. Mentioning that they had donated 657 toys to Toys 4 Tots, raised $600 to Pennies for Patients, and collected 4,000 pounds of canned food, which was the largest out of every school in Tulare County.
Not to mention held the first every Miraculous Monarch Prom, which was dedicated to not only EUHS students with special needs but also invited Farmersville High School, Woodlake High School, and CBI. During the event every student present was crowned prom king and queen.
“Although we are leaving here in different directions, just remember that when you come back; you always have your Exeter family here,” said Harden. “We will always be forever united and forever Monarchs.”
Among some of the other achievements that the class has achieved are 30 of the graduates have been awarded lifetime memberships to the California Scholarship Federation. With nine of them being 100% life members.
Some of the four-year universities that the graduates will attend next fall include Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Sacramento State, San Jose State and those are just some in California. Graduates have also been accepted to Texas A&M, Cedarville University and American University.
“There are many other accomplishments, too numerous to list and it has been my privilege to share in these celebrations,” said Principle Mayo.