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Victory High, Rocklin Independent send off grads

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Their tassels turned, cheers were chanted and cameras flashed as Rocklin students became high school graduates.
During last Wednesday evening’s celebration at the Sunset Center, approximately 115 students from Rocklin Independent School and Victory High School transitioned from students to alumni.
“Education is not a destination, but a journey,” Victory High graduate Bethany LaRose told the crowd during the ceremony. “Graduation is a new chapter of the story of our lives.”
The messages portrayed at both ceremonies were surrounded around post-graduation life and doing something you enjoy.
Mike Mechanick, a producer and director for Fox 40 and a film and entertainment reporter, gave the commencement address to both classes of graduates.
Mechanick opened with a quote from Benjamin Franklin.
“We are all born ignorant. It takes a lot of hard work to remain stupid,” he said.
He went on to share that mistakes are inevitable.
“Failure is OK and if you’re going to fail, fail big,” Mechanick said. “Failure is OK and more often than not will lead to success.”
Jennae Shetter was one of 44 Rocklin Independent School graduates at last week’s commencement ceremony. Shetter completed her junior and senior years of high school in nine months and the 16-year-old has plans to enroll in cosmetology school to become a hairstylist.
Rocklin Independent School is a home-school option instead of the traditional classroom setting. Students are able to pick their pace and complete assignments at home.
Also among the Rocklin Independent School graduates was Courtney Fahnestock who said she used to think of Rocklin Independent as a place for troubled teens.
“Rocklin Independent study is actually a place filled with very independent and driven people,” she said.
Fahnestock said the school is compiled of students who had the courage to move to a less traditional high school – one where teachers are able to give more attention and challenge.
At Victory High School, a continuation school and alternative option for 11th- and 12th-grade students, approximately 70 students graduated last week.
Margarita Ioannesyan said she found herself at Victory High. Growing up, Ioannesyan said she heard cruel words directed at her from classmates and didn’t have many friends. But that changed once she started at Victory. She said she walked into a sanctuary, where she was encouraged to join ASB and other groups.
Alexia Allen said she had a similar experience at Victory and was able to graduate early. She said the school felt like home.
Just before the graduates made the transition into adulthood, Mechanick offered a last piece of advice.
“What I do is nothing more than what I enjoy,” he said. “Have the courage to follow your hearts and intuition because they already seem to know what we will become.”

For more photos: Victory High sends off grads