A Total of 49 Students Turn the Tassel

Happy grads
Graduates line up to receive their diplomas.
June 5, 2023
The Lucerne Valley High School Class of 2023 was graduated during a commencement ceremony at Ron Peavy Football Stadium on the evening of Friday, May 26th.
A total of 49 received diplomas as numerous family, friends and supporters looked on.
Principal/Assistant Superintendent Nate Lambdin welcomed attendees followed by the processional to “Pomp and Circumstance.” The Lucerne Valley Rangers, which had a very busy week, presented the colors followed by the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Keynote speaker Assemblyman Tom Lackey, who is the small High Desert town Boron, expressed an affinity with Lucerne Valley. “I’m very, very proud of it,” he said. “I’m very honored, and I hope you are too and never ever apologize for being from a small community. You have a lot to be proud of.”
Mr. Lackey also said, “You are going to be the future leaders. You persisted and you overcame personal obstacles. You’ve earned your right to celebrate.”
He encouraged the graduates to not be surprised by occasional bumps in the road of life, and to learn from them.
“Your whole lives are ahead of you, and you are in the driver’s seat. Learning will be a long journey for the rest of your lives. Experience is the best teacher, and failure will always be part of life. Please know that failure is part of what you have in front of you, but overcome it. It will make you better. It will make you stronger.”
Principal Jason Story recognized the district’s 2023 retirees Lucerne Valley High School teacher Vanessa Jones and longtime Lucerne Valley Elementary School teachers Kay Hall and  Marilyn Stafford. The retirees came up to the dais to receive their awards.
Class Valedictorian Christian Gutierrez and Salutatorian Alexa Orozco gave the student speeches.
Salutatorian Alexa Orozco, who had a 4.0 GPA during her senior year, thanked her family in both English and in Spanish. She praised her teachers and the school principals for making a huge difference in her life and specifically credited Teacher/Coach Brandon Barkley, known by his basketball players simply as “Barkley,” for teaching her important life skills.
Alexa talked about how the Class of 2023 experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused classmates to see their school time together shortened.  “We are about to head into the real world. At first we’re going to be scared, but then we’ll get the hang of it.”  
Valedictorian Christian Gutierrez expressed surprised to learn he had the highest grade point average. But he worked hard to attain academic success. He thanked his family, friends, and teachers.
“To our parents and family we express our deepest appreciation for their love, encouragement and sacrifices. For me my family has served as my soul inspiration. Specifically my mom and dad who worked ruthlessly to make sure there was food on the table, a roof over my head, and access to opportunities they never had.”
He too talked about the challenges caused by the pandemic. He compared the difficulties of last few years to a computer-based game, “Rise of Kingdoms.” “Similar to this game we faced challenges, we stumbled and we fell. But we got up, dusted ourselves off and pushed through it.” 
Mr. Story presented the Class of 2023 and School Board President Jessica Risler accepted the Class.
Counselor Kevin Barda and staff member Adriana Barajas presented the diplomas followed by the tassel ceremony, which was led by student Linda Cossio Avelar, and closing remarks by Mr. Lambdin.
The following are the graduates from the Class of 2023:
Janet Acosta, Juan Alba, Juan Barrita Martinez, Avary Baruch, Alexis Bolanos, Ian Collins, Joshua Contreras, Linda Cossio Avelar, Martybet Cruz Rosales, Mariesther Davalos, Davianna Enderle, Meredith Espinal, Omar Fausto, Humberto Garcia, Christian Gutierrez*, Jesse Gutierrez, Ian Hess, Lydia Jaimez, Lucian Kennedy, Madeline Kline, Francisco Leanos, Chelsea Lopez, Kimberly Luna, Jose Mendoza, Calos Monterrozo Rosales, Aidan Morgan, Jewel Moy, Alexa Orozco*, Robert Palmer, Christopher Palmerin, Lyric Pearson, Savannah Porter, Kailey Quintero, Tatiana Raybon, Kayla Reyes, Harlee Sheehan, Denver Staup, Riley Stearns, Sierra Stoffel, Richard Terletter, Shania Tierce, Kayla Timmons, Luis Torres Lopez, Marisal Torres, Tatum Vacca, Brita Vaughn, Heide Velasquez Guardado, Trevor Walczyk, Lori Weaver.
*Christian Gutierrez, valedictorian; *Alexa Orozco, salutatorian
Produced by the LVUSD Social Media Department
Writer: Peter Day