New Roads to Travel for 30 VUSD Summer School Graduates – The Vacaville Reporter

About 30 seniors took to the stage and about 30 minutes later it was diplomas, that emblem of adulthood and a figurative ticket to a new life.

Fresh off graduating from Vacaville Unified Summer School, the seniors, who picked up their diplomas Friday afternoon in Will C. Wood’s packed Catwalk Theater, didn’t cross the stage in June with their respective classmates at Vacaville, Buckingham Charter and Wood High School and Ernest Kimme Charter Academy.

Graduating seniors from Vacaville's four high schools gathered at the Catwalk Theater were honored at the start of summer <a class=school Friday at Wood C. Wood High School. (Joel Rosenbaum/The Reporter)” width=”2000″ data-sizes=”auto” data-src=”″ data-srcset=” 620w, 310w”/>
Graduating seniors from Vacaville’s four high schools gathered at the Catwalk Theater were honored at the start of summer school Friday at Wood C. Wood High School. (Joel Rosenbaum/The Reporter)

But while enrolled in the district’s summer program, formerly called Extended Summer Learning, the graduates, dressed in caps and blue or burgundy robes, many wearing folded dollar bill leis and billboards of decorated mortars, have never lost sight of their goal: to join the class of 2022.

In a brief onstage interview after the ceremony, summer school director Danielle Shifrine said the students mostly got elective credits “that they had to earn” to meet the requirements of the college. Graduation status.

Some of the students, she said, were “still finding their way” and deciding what to do next.

Outside the theater after the ceremony and posing for souvenir photos with family and friends, Nicholas Butler, an Ernest Kimme Charter graduate and one of the three keynote speakers, said his remarks were largely “Congratulations to all”.

“Everyone took a different route to get here,” said Butler, son of Nicholas Butler and Marrisa Lynn. “We got here through absences and missed missions, but we got here.”

His plans immediately after the ceremony?

“Go home and have a barbecue, go swimming in the backyard,” and enjoy a taco bar made by her grandmother, Butler said, flashing a slight smile at the thought.

In the fall, he plans to pursue a study program leading to electrician certification.

Other keynote speakers were Beverly Burton, also an Ernest Kimme charter graduate, and Bennie Taylor Doyel, a graduate of Vacaville High.

Vacaville High School graduate Bennie Taylor Doyel delivers his remarks at the start of summer school Friday at Wood C. Wood High School. (Joel Rosenbaum/The Reporter)

Dystine Harrington, 17, also an Ernest Kimme Charter graduate, was planning on going to dinner at Cajun Crackin on Nut Tree Parkway.

“I feel good and excited,” she said, standing in the theater lobby shortly after the ceremony ended. “It’s the start of a new life.”

Harrington plans to attend beauty school “somewhere in Sacramento or San Francisco” in the coming months.

For her, the challenge of the summer school was just to “show up”, but she called the program having “great people and great teachers”.

Besner Mondragon-Rodriguez, 18, who dated Will C. Wood, was the only graduate who did not receive a degree.

When his name was called, he was not awarded a diploma as he stood at the edge of the stage as some in the audience wondered what had happened and the ceremony appeared to pause briefly. .

The snafu led Ed Santopadre, the district’s assistant superintendent of educational services, and others to frantically seek the degree. It was not found.

Later, outside the theater, standing in the shade with friends and family, Mondragon-Rodriguez said it was no big deal.

‘I know I’ve done it’, meaning I got enough credits to graduate, he said, adding, ‘They’re still looking for it’ inside theater.

Her post-ceremony plans were “probably to hang out with family and friends.”

In the fall, he plans to enter one of the construction trades.

For Mondragon-Rodriguez, the challenge of completing summer school was “finding the motivation to do the work.”

As of press time, Santopadre, in a text to The Reporter, said he believed Mondragon-Rodriguez’s diploma had been found and would be returned to him.

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