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Grizzlies graduate

Posted: June 1, 2009 10:48 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Ibrahim Rassoli hugs a classmate after receiving his diploma Monday evening at College of the Canyons' Cougar Stadium for the 2009 Golden Valley High School commencement ceremony. More than 400 students graduated Monday night.

 
Students and administrators gathered at the College of the Canyons on Monday to send off Golden Valley High School's class of 2009 during the school's third annual commencement ceremony.

"This is the end of an era and it should be treated like something special," said Emmanuel Tolentino, 2008-09 ASB president, in his speech to the class of 2009.

Tolentino reflected on the years he and his classmates spent at Golden Valley High School, working their minds and bodies to reach graduation day.

Despite the hurdles and bumps along the way, the class of 2009's Grizzles were able to mature and become adults, he said.

"High school will be forever embedded in your head, whether you like it or not," Tolentino told the graduates at Cougar Stadium.

Throughout the cool night, graduates heard messages from their peers and teachers about their 13-year journey through the school system.

With every speech, the graduates sat surrounded by friends and families, who took every opportunity to snap photos, scream their names and wave posters.

Myrtle Austin took a front seat in the stands above the football field to watch her granddaughter, Iesha White, cross the podium to receive her high school diploma.

"I'm very proud," she said.

Austin's granddaughter plans to attend nursing school after graduation, she said.

In his address to the roughly 450 graduates clad in black caps and gowns, Golden Valley Principal Sal Frias passed on the advice he gives to his baby son.

"I ask him to make a difference and help people," Frias said.

He hoped the students would grow even after graduating from high school.

"Make yourself proud of who you are and what you will be," he said.

Frias also sent a message to never give up.

"No matter how hard you fall, pick yourself up," he said.

Golden Valley teacher Justin Thomas reflected on the years the graduates spent in school and what remains in the future.

"Life isn't about finding yourself," Thomas said. "Life is about creating yourself."

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