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Madera South's Fifth Graduating Class Leaves It's Mark Print E-mail
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Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 09:28
MADERA - This year the fifth graduating class of Madera South High School kicked off two days of high school graduations at Madera High's Memorial Stadium. Thursday night Madera High will take the stage but on Wednesday the Stallions road proudly into their future on Lee DaSilva Field.

The class of 2013 produced a record 30 valedictorians who were all honored during the ceremony. Madera Unified Superintendent Dr. Anthony Monreal gave the address and Ismael Guzman-Berdejo, Aimee Elizarraras, Sumayyah Din and Adriano Coronado all delivered the students speeches that was topped off with the release of hundreds of black and purple balloons.


Of the 538 graduating seniors, over 215 are committed to a four year university and 80 percent of the class has plans to continue their education at either a four or two year school next fall.

Following the graduation the seniors returned to Madera South for the CHP Sober Graduation where Mattie Betancourth went home with a 2001 Saturn donated by GT Auto Center (more below). The graduation ceremony was capped off with a firework celebration.


Student Drives Home with Car Following 2013 Sober Grad
GT Auto Center Donates Saturn

Graduation is a season for celebration.  It's also a time for sober acknowledgment by every grad that the accomplishments of a lifetime and the promise of the future can be erased instantly when drinking and driving are combined.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants every member of the class of 2013 to "Make It To Your Future!" safely.

"The Sober Graduation message is an honest, sincere and candid one that is borne of the experience of too many high school grads who celebrated by drinking and driving and whose lives were changed forever, or ended, as a result," said Lt. Paris, commander of the CHP's Madera Area office.  "As you celebrate your graduation from high school, remember that drinking and driving are a deadly combination."

Like the class of 2013, the Sober Grad program has evolved in communities throughout California through its 28 years of learning and experience that began during the graduation season of 1985.  Students, parents, teachers, and the CHP teamed to produce events that highlight teen success and provide a safe environment for celebration where young people can have fun without risking their lives and those of others by drinking, using drugs, and driving.

An example of a popular Sober Grad activity is an all night-long party on graduation night.  Students and their friends pledge to stay through the end of the party and abstain from all alcohol and other mind-altering substances.  Parents, educators, and students make arrangement for food, dancing, entertainment - even breakfast the morning after the party.  This year GT Auto Center donated a used 2001 Saturn SL1 that Mattie Betancourth drove home after the party this morning.

"Sober Grad in our area this year is the product of student's imagination with support from parents, educators, and other participants," said Lt. Paris.  "We're proud to help teens with an appealing alternative to drinking, drugs and driving at the end of the school year."

For those young people who would ignore the cautions of their peers, parents, and others with greater life experience, and who still choose to drink, use drugs and drive, the CHP has another clear message: "We'll provide the chaser."

"The difference between tragedy and triumph at graduation is a measure of a young person's maturity," Lt. Paris said.  "No better opportunity exists for grads to show that they can manage the responsibilities of young adulthood to which they graduate than by staying sober, so everyone can "Make It To Your Future!"

All Photos Copyright 2013 by Big Valley News & Photo


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