Live Oak High School grads, families celebrate accomplishment Wednesday night

Live Oak Class of 2019 celebrates Wed. night, June 5. Photos by Allen Payton.

Live Oak High grad Briana Garcia speaks as teacher Kathi Libbey listens.

By Allen Payton

The graduates of the other continuation high school in Antioch, Live Oak High School, and their families and friends celebrated the accomplishment during ceremonies, Wednesday evening, June 5. The event was held in the Beede Auditorium at Antioch High School under the leadership of Principal Tim Cooper.

“Go upstream against the herd. Do what you think is right not necessarily anyone else,” AUSD Board President Gary Hack told the graduates.

Student speakers included Briana Garcia and Alexandra “Ali” Chavez.

Garcia, who served as Vice President of Leadership, gave a moving speech about the loss of her mother, who died when she was in 7th grade and how that negatively affected her high school experience.

“I didn’t feel motivated or cared for at school which caused me to fail which brought me to Live Oak,” she said. “I decided to get my life together and get an education. Where I am today, I’ve made better life choices and I’m happy where I am. I’ve had the best high school experience here. The teachers and staff really care.”

Garcia thanked her sister and brother-in-law. “I definitely couldn’t have done this without you.”

She thanked her dad.

“I’m very proud of you” he responded from the audience.

Garcia thanked her teachers “for putting up with all of us.”

She thanked Principal Cooper and the office staff.

“You all have accepted me and helped me to grow,” Garcia continued. “Don’t ever give up because there’s always a plan for you and another road for you to go down.”

Graduate Alexandra “Ali” Chavez shared about her experience at Live Oak High.

Chavez spoke of her freshman and sophomore years, cutting class, smoking and drinking heavily before school.

“I was so low on credits it was almost impossible to graduate,” she said. “So, I came to Live Oak. It was the best decision my mom ever made. Thank you, mommy.”

“My first year at Live Oak I was on the Dean’s List. I had a 3.8 GPA,” Chavez shared. “The teachers here are going to push you. There is no getting left behind. I’m so thankful for all the teachers and staff for all their help.”

To her fellow graduates she said, “Let’s get out there and conquer this world.”

Awards were then presented to a variety of the graduates.

The Libbey Family Scholarship was presented to Jessica Moran-Zamora; the Knights of Columbus Scholarship was given to Maricela Cabrera, who made up 175 credits in a year and a half, had a 3.67 GPA with almost perfect attendance.

The Mayor’s Distinguished Student Award was also presented to Jessica Moran-Zamora; the Academic Award was presented to Mele Tonga who had the Highest GPA of 3.74; the Personal Growth Award, for the most improvement academically and personally, was presented to Yesenia Loera; and the Principal’s Award, which “embodies the academic side and all the other little things you would want to see in a student” said Principal Tim Cooper, was presented to Leslie Perez.

Principal Tim Cooper congratulated the graduates.

Cooper then shared his thoughts with the graduates.

“This is the time for you to chase your dreams. If you believe in yourself and what you want you can make it happen,” he said. “But you have to work at it. Nothing comes easy in life.

He then shared from people who offered what he should say on social media.

“I received over 100 responses,” Cooper said. “Here are some of the highlights from those who will be your peers. Follow your passion and talent. The money will follow. Dream big. Pay your taxes. Never burn a bridge. Learn from your mistakes. Celebrate your accomplishments. Be resilient.”

“It has truly been an honor to work with each and every one of you,” he concluded. “And remember, dreams don’t work unless you do.”

Antioch Superintendent Stephanie Anello accepted the school’s Class of 2019, having met all the requirements to graduate. Board President Hack and Trustees Diane Gibson Gray, Mary Rocha and Ellie Householder handed the graduates their diplomas. Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White was not in attendance.

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Live Oak Principal Tim Cooper


Alexandra Ali Chavez


Briana Garcia speaks as Kathi Libbey listens


Live Oak Class of 2019 celebrates


4 Comments to “Live Oak High School grads, families celebrate accomplishment Wednesday night”

  1. Sabe says:

    This graduation was held at Antioch high school not deer valley and the speaker Briana did not lose her Mom to cancer it was just stated she lost her Mom

    • Publisher says:

      Thank you for catching that mistake in the first paragraph and the additional information. The article has been corrected.
      Allen Payton, Publisher & Editor

  2. Elaine Morch says:

    Thank you for covering the LOHS graduation ceremony. Too often continuation high school graduates and the difficult roads some have had to travel to get to this stage are overlooked. It was indeed a glorious night! Thanks again.
    E. Morch
    LOHS Teacher

    • Publisher says:

      Ms. Morch,
      Thank you for your kind comments. This was the first year we covered the graduation ceremonies of the continuation high schools. We plan to cover them every year, from now on. Both Live Oak’s and Bidwell’s were moving to hear of the challenges the students overcame to get there.
      Allen Payton, Publisher & Editor

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