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Zebras earn their stripes

By: Ashley Cisek, News Messenger Intern
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Cheers and tears filled the Alexander Grey Sports Complex last Friday as the 317 Lincoln High School seniors received their diplomas. As each name was called at graduation, families and friends stood in the overflowing stands cheering on their graduates. And tears were also visible on many of the audience members. “All of us faced challenges: tough classes, strenuous sports, and trying time but we all succeeded anyway,” said valedictorian Sarah Bietz during her commencement speech, ‘Anyway.’ “Sitting where you are now, you should feel proud.” Succeeding is exactly what these students did over their four-year high school careers. Their successes, and that of the faculty, helped Lincoln High School win two of California’s most sought after awards this year, the 2009 California Distinguished School Award and the 2009 Career Technical Education Distinguished School Award; according to Lincoln High’s principal David Butler. “They took the testing very serious and a lot of the award is based on that test,” Butler said. “They set the tone for the school.” According to Butler, the awards are based on students’ Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) scores over a period of time, and only five percent of California’s high schools receives the California Distinguished School Award. As the students prepared to receive their diplomas, they did a standing ovation in memory of Justin Grich. Justin, killed after being hit by a car in Roseville while riding his skateboard on May 28, was scheduled to graduate last Friday. His sister, Lynette Grich, accepted his diploma in his honor. “The graduating class this year are nice kids and they will go on and do well,” Butler said. “They set a very positive tone for the school all four years they were here.” Students’ families and friends also acknowledged the positive attitude of this class. “I think they’re a really good class,” said Tara Tenborg, sister of graduating senior and salutatorian Elizabeth Tenborg. “(They’re an) all around good class.” Now the students are focusing on their immediate futures. Some students will attend California schools such as University of Southern California, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis; others will attend colleges in states including Idaho, Oklahoma and Oregon. Other Lincoln High School graduates chose to enlist in the United States Armed Forces. However, many students chose to attend local colleges to stay close to family and friends. “It’s kind of scary,” said Rebecca Moreno, a Lincoln High 2009 graduate about leaving for college. “I’m worried to go to college.” Moreno plans on attending Sierra College in the fall before transferring to Sacramento State University to major in physical therapy. Moreno, originally from Sacramento, moved with her family to Lincoln when she was a freshman and said that her experience at Lincoln High was good even though she didn’t grow up with many of the students. Parents had mixed feelings Friday about their graduates’ plans for the future. “It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Judy Johnson, parent of Lincoln High graduate Andrew Johnson. Johnson said that Andrew will attend a nine-month firefighter and paramedic program in Tel Aviv, Israel. While at Lincoln High, Andrew participated in the school’s Fire Science Regional Occupational Program. Andrew learned about this opportunity in Tel Aviv through Young Judaea, a Jewish youth movement established in 1909 to advance Zionism. “We know it’s what he wants to do and see where he came from,” Johnson said. “It’s cool that we can give him the opportunity to explore his heritage.” While some students are uncertain about their future, other students are anxious about opening the next chapter in their lives. “It’s exciting,” said senior Moriah Bradley about graduating this year. Bradley received numerous awards during her senior year including the Robert Moore Memorial, Sportsmen’s Legacy, Wildlands, Inc., Placer Nevada Cattlewomen’s, Dot Connors Memorial, and several others. “I feel like I accomplished a lot.” Bradley will attend Reedley College and major in agriculture business before transferring to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Despite their differences, and the paths they chose to follow, Ashley Moreau, president of the class of 2009, said it best when saying goodbye during her graduation speech: “We all have one thing in common: we all bleed blue and gold and we will always be fighting Zebras!”