By Peter Day
Concluding a year that brought a new school principal, assistant principal, several teachers and a much-awaited school counselor, it may have seemed surprising to some that Lucerne Valley High School’s commencement on Friday at times seemed like a big family reunion.
But that was a common theme among speakers at the event in the Sgt. Brian L. Walker Memorial Gymnasium that saw 34 seniors from the Class of 2019 receive their diplomas.
“The camaraderie and the closeness of this class is something I’ve never seen before,” said first-year principal Nate Lambdin.
Lambdin’s comment echoed salutatorian Jake Klein’s closing words, “We may not be altogether, but together we have it all.”
Valedictorian Samantha Sidney also talked about the tight-knit group, many of whom have gone through elementary, middle and high school together.
“We were able to create relationships and memories that will last a lifetime,” Sidney said. “All our hard work has finally paid off. Now we start a new journey.”
Guest speaker was 2012 graduate Zenia Lopez who shared what she has learned since graduating from LVHS seven years ago.
Lopez boiled down the life lessons she has learned to three main things: We all need someone to love; we need something to learn; and we need something to look forward to.
After talking about marriage, having a child and her ongoing curiosity, she said, “Always have something to look forward to, something bigger than yourself. Every staff of life comes to an end, so always have something to look forward to.”
Lambdin also introduced CTE culinary arts teacher Kim Evans, who gave a warm address to students.
“I’m honored to be part of the staff of Lucerne Valley High School,” she said.
Lambdin, who previously was the longtime principal Mojave High School, an alt ed school in Hesperia, also shared words to the graduates.
“Take control of your life by taking control of your attitude,” Lambdin said. “Don’t confuse feelings with facts. Don’t sacrifice a thousand tomorrows for a few todays. I am so proud of each and every one of you.”
Following the speeches, Lambdin presented the Class of 2019, and school board clerk Ruben Medina accepted the class. Medina and his wife have 10 children, all of whom have or are going through Lucerne Valley schools.
All 34 graduating seniors have plans to college. Most will be attending Victor Valley College, but several have been accepted into four-year schools.
The following are the Lucerne Valley High School Class of 2019 graduates:
Jose Alba, Abiram Alcala Diaz Barriga, Esmeralda Alcazar, Jesus Arreola Millan, Austin Buchanan, Raelean Carmona, Cheyenne Christman, David Cummings, Kylie Douglas, Sione Duarte-Mahe, Brody Evans, Francisco Fuerte, Kathy Gaeta, Austin Garcia, Rebekah Hart, Kylee Horton, Lacey Kalinowski, Allen “Jake” Kline, Elijah Lien, Hollie Lopez De Leon, Jesse Medina, Jordan Mills, Donovan Moncrief, Guillermo Palomares, Sebastian Park, Sharon Park, Jesus “Jesse” Perez, Samantha Sidney, Kennedy Silva, Wendy Smith Lopez, Jeremy Smith, Dustin Van Horn, Brenda Orozco, Jasmine Villanueva.