Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Martha Deichler
BSUSD School Community Liaison 

BSUSD Seniors Graduate on Hot Note After Crazy Year

Congratulations BSHS Class of 2021

 

Last updated 7/6/2021 at 9:04am

The challenges of the 108-degree evening were nothing compared to the insane year our seniors had to face in 2020-21 with COVID 19, online learning, unreliable Internet and the absence of so many high school traditions such as football, homecoming, Miss Borrego and Prom.

As the sun set behind our beloved Indian Head, our resilient seniors marched onto the stage on the football field while parents honked horns, friends cheered and cameras flashed. This was their big moment and they were determined to have a graduation after a year that seemed would never end. Students, all 28 of them, relished the moment and were beaming.

The only student missing was Ashanty Rangel who returned to Guanajuato, Mexico in order to take her exams for medical school. Best wishes to her!

Many tears were shed ON June 17, beginning with class-chosen speakers, Counselor Christina Nerette and CTE (Career Tech Ed) Teacher Francisco "Poncho" Ramirez. Each shared heartfelt moments while working with this class, a class with a reputation for being vocal, fun-loving and a bit crazy! Christina shared a quote by Deborah Archer stating that, "You are our ancestors' wildest dreams, and you have already achieved things that your ancestors would never have imagined."

She encouraged the students to seize this power and continue achieving their dreams while remembering what fuels their passion. Christina also shared that this class was so special when she worked with them two years ago that she made up her mind to stay in Borrego and see them graduate!

"Poncho," who graduated from Borrego Springs High School 13 years ago, shared his personal dream to become a millionaire one day, own a fleet of exotic cars and spend his life traveling the world. Now he has found true satisfaction with his wife, daughter and another child on the way. Disneyland and the Zoo are his "world travels" and his teaching job will most likely not make him a millionaire, but he feels as though he is. He stressed that one has to adapt to changes and challenges in life and he left his students with this Emerson quote: "Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Salutatorian Daniela Carmona (GPA 4.09) delivered some sage advice to her peers when she told them, "Don't spend your life in a job where you can't wait for the weekend." Instead, she told them, "Find your passion." Daniela graciously thanked everyone from the custodians to the teachers for her successful years at Borrego Springs High School. Filled with emotion, she thanked her parents sitting nearby for all of their support and love. The pride on her parent's faces was palpable. Daniela will attend College of the Desert for her undergraduate work, then transfer to a university to obtain her BSN – Baccalaureate Nursing.

For Valedictorian Laurynn Strate (GPA 4.6), it was a double decker of a special day! It was also her 18th birthday and she could barely contain her excitement and joy. She shared a personal story of transferring into Borrego Springs High School during her freshman year from a large school out of state where she felt she was just a number. She had a fear of failing because no one really knew who she was or seemed to care. In our small high school of 120, she found a niche and she excelled. Teachers were available for consultation, the principal knew her name, she found friends and her life changed. Laurynn told her peers that she thought they were lucky to have this COVID-19 year as it taught them how to struggle and overcome obstacles. With tears in her eyes, she thanked her teachers and family, including Grandmother Pam Parker, a longtime teacher at Borrego Springs Elementary School. Laurynn will attend Cal Poly Pomona, then transfer to UC Davis to study veterinary medicine.

Words shared by Superintendent Mark Stevens and Principal Victoria Baay echoed the theme of overcoming huge challenges this past year with COVID-19. Gratitude was expressed over and over to teachers, students and parents for their patience for the numerous times they were asked to adapt and to readjust to the constant COVID-19 changes and guidelines from the state and the school.

Although 108 degrees outside, every Senior wore a gorgeous leis of orchids which has become a tradition thanks to local hairdresser, Charlie Noble. Every year he graciously collects donations (never quite enough to cover his costs) and drives to the San Diego Flower Market in order to offer our students something special. Our students are grateful and so appreciative in this arid environment of few fresh flowers. He would like to thank: Roger and Charlie from Desert Pantry, Jessica Simpson, Borrego Outfitters, Soroptimists, Tracy Alexander, Pam Parker, Martha Deichler and Andy Macuga.

Congratulations and best wishes to our graduating class of 2021!

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