Rocklin seniors leave with pride, promise

By: Kristine Guerra, Special to The Placer Herald
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As seniors at Rocklin High School mark the end of a four-year journey, optimism emanates despite difficult economic times.
“We have made it! We have actually graduated,” Shane Seppinni said in his inspirational message, followed by an instant applause from his fellow graduates.
They are, indeed, graduating in the “most challenging of times,” Seppinni said, but their “four years worth of top-notch education and opportunities” will be their biggest assets.
Three hundred sixty-eight seniors, including 10 valedictorians, Nassima Bouzid, Laura Cantu, Jaime Delano, Valerie Dudley, Corinne Heisler, Samantha Lawrence, Rachel Leung, Rosalie Perrot, Cassandra Trickett and Mallory Valenzuela, graduated from Rocklin High School Friday.
Pride for their alma mater and fellow graduates dominated the valedictory address of No. 1 valedictorian Valenzuela and the class history speech of No. 2 valedictorian Bouzid.
“I would not be standing before you today as a valedictorian if it were not for the way my life has been impacted by each and everyone of you,” Valenzuela said. “We’re about to graduate not because of pure luck or pure skill, but because we have what it takes.”
Bouzid, including six others, Sasha Brown, Maegan Carpenter, Janelle Currey, Nathan Dudley, Valerie Dudley and Evan Karkazis, graduated with straight As in all four years.
“As a class, we are anything and everything,” Bouzid said. “And wherever we go, whatever we do, being affiliated with Rocklin High School has given us the ability to make history.”
In his address to the class, school principal Michael Garrison, emphasized batch 2009’s distinctive academic, extra-curricular and athletic achievements.
“You have been the one class who has been the most instrumental in our school’s academic success,” Garrison said. “I would say this class has proven your academic and extra-curricular excellence and you most certainly left your mark in Rocklin High School.”
RHS has been recognized as the No. 1 school in Placer County since the graduates’ sophomore year and is one of the top 500 schools in the nation. Four million dollars worth of scholarship, grants and awards has been granted to batch 2009 graduates—the highest in the school’s history, Garrison said.
The graduates’ parents, who applauded and scrambled to take pictures of their children, are, needless to say, equally proud. “It’s incredible,” said Renee Holland after watching her son receive his diploma.
“I’m very proud of her,” said Brett Trickett, father of valedictorian Cassandra Trickett. “We’re looking forward to her doing bigger and better at UCLA. She’s a young adult who’s going to make a difference in this world.”
Trickett, who received an academic grant from UCLA, plans to major in environmental science.
“I feel kind of sad,” she said. “I can’t believe it’s over.”
Another graduate, Megan Bouchard, who plans to go to Sierra College and major in photography, has one thing to say to this year’s freshmen.
“Get involved in everything because high school flies by quickly,” she said.
The hour and a half-long ceremony was serenaded by the Senior Ensemble with its rendition of “In My Life,” and by the Rocklin High Symphonic Band with “Hoedown from Rodeo.”
Perhaps, no one from the audience that filled the stadium will forget ASB President Karl Cannon II’s rap performance he delivered at the end of his welcoming address.
“I still can’t believe that four years has come and gone, but I will never forget that RHS is the bomb,” Cannon rhymed.

For more photos: Rocklin High Class of 2009 graduates