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Golden Valley grads celebrate at COC

Posted: June 3, 2008 8:52 p.m.
Updated: August 4, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Sonny Garayoa, a graduate from Golden Valley, waves at friends in the stands during the ceremony held at COC.

 
Every year, high school seniors walk across a stage to collect their high school diplomas.

Three months later, those same high schools welcome a new class of freshmen who begin eyeing that special day, nearly four years down the road, when they, too, will have the chance to participate in the annual rite of passage out of high school and into the "real world."

Yet for this year's graduating class at Golden Valley High School, commencement was something special.
For these seniors, graduation was not just a rite of passage - it was history in the making.

As the first four year graduating class at Golden Valley, the Class of 2008 can officially say that they helped define and shape the Canyon Country high school.

"In August 2004, when Golden Valley opened its buildings, it was up to this class to give it a heart," said Jacque Snyder, Golden Valley's principal.

Indeed, Golden Valley's class of 2008 set the tone for what it would mean to be a Grizzly. As the first freshman class to spend four full years at the relatively new school, the class of 2008 chose the school colors and mascot.

With more than 400 students participating in commencement, it was also the largest graduating class in the school's young history.

While the students made history as a whole, many individual students will be pursuing their personal goals and dreams.

Taylor Hicks, for example, plans to pursue a career in medicine, as he will enroll at University of California, Irvine, next fall to pursue a bachelor's degree in biological sciences.

"It's been a pretty fun four years here," said Hicks, who also ran track and field and cross-country. "Going to school made me a well-rounded person. I feel prepared to move on to the next phase of my life."

Bianca Topete, a scholarship recipient at Burbank's Woodbury University, hopes she can be just as influential as an architect as she was as a student and cheerleader at Golden Valley.

"Starting out here as the first freshman class, it could truly be said that this was my school," she said. "We definitely left our stamp here."

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