The Lincoln High School class of 2013 takes the field

It’s graduation season for Lincoln and Phoenix High Schools
By: By Brooke Jones Special to The News Messenger
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Excitement buzzed throughout the Lincoln High School’s “old gym” at 6:30 p.m. Friday as nervous seniors waited their last few moments before taking their last walk on the campus.

The old gym was the starting point for the Class of 2013 before the 329 seniors made their way to the stadium to become official Lincoln High School graduates.

The bleachers were packed at 7 p.m. with friends and family members, as well as Lincoln High teachers, Western Placer Unified School District members and administrators.

Before seniors walked onto the football field, The News Messenger asked them about what graduation meant to them.

“It’s not as big of a deal so far as people said, although practice did give me an awesome tan” said Kaeleb Ser, 17. “It’s still kind of weird to think that I’m not going to go to that school anymore.”

And Zane Dean was still processing the fact that high school has ended for him.

“How do I feel about graduating? Well, I kind of don’t,” said Zane Dean, 18. “I mean, you don’t really feel like a graduate or an adult really. It just kinds of hits you that, ‘Oh, I don’t have school Monday. Or ever.’”

Parents, waiting anxiously for their students to walk across the stage, had more definitive answers on what graduation meant.

“Its proof of hard work and involved parenting,” said Robert Ser, father of Kaeleb Ser. “I’m very proud that against all belief his freshman year, he was not only successful in graduating but also surpassed all expectations of him. I am excited to see the next stages of his life.”

Graduation night started off with senior class president Carly DeWeese and her inspiring speech about the 2013 class.

“The class of 2013 is not just ‘another class’ to come and go through Lincoln. We have made our imprint. We have without a doubt been the most triumphant class and have experienced numerous accomplishments,” DeWeese said. “Whether or not you have experienced something that made you tell yourself that you would never get to this moment, and that you would never succeed, you are here and this is your moment. Congratulations on making it through the most difficult of times.”

DeWeese ended her speech with Principal Jay Berns’ frequently-heard words, “The choice is yours, Lincoln High School.”

Next, class valedictorian Ashley Piwkiewicz delivered a heartfelt speech on how far this class has come. “High school is what shapes us. We begin to find our passions and create our own entities,” Piwkiewicz said. “Right now, I stand before a group of students who have a wide range of amazing talents and experiences, none better than the others.”

Salutorian Savannah Berkley spoke on how fortunate the class was.

Before diplomas were handed out, Principal Jay Berns (or Baldie, as he calls himself), gave a proud speech to the graduating class.

“Don’t think for a second that these last four years are the end of your learning career,” Berns said. “Whether it is the people you meet or the experiences you have, you will continue to learn.”

Immediately after the seniors received their diplomas, the field was filled with excited graduates and teary-eyed, proud parents, family members and friends.

Zane Dean had advice for the upcoming senior class: “You will get Senioritis, but for the love of God make you actually turn in your homework. Zeroes add up and all of the sudden that 94 percent became a 74 percent and it’s three weeks from the final. Get it done.”   

As the exhilarant day came to a close, the graduates still had a night to remember at Sober Grad. Congratulations Class of 2013, you did it. 

Brooke Jones is a Lincoln High School senior and the school’s ZebraTales editor-in-chief.