Deer Valley High Class of 2019 grads, families celebrate Friday morning

The Deer Valley High School Class of 2019 during the graduation ceremonies, Friday morning, June 6, 2019. Photos by Allen Payton

ASB President Natasha Cao speaks to her classmates.

By Allen Payton

The Class of 2019 graduates of Deer Valley High School, and their family and friends filled the school’s Wolverine Stadium on Friday morning, June 6 to celebrate the accomplishment of completing 13 years of their education. Teacher and cross country and track coach Mike Green served as Master of Ceremonies.

The Deer Valley High band, under the direction of Conductor Larry Widener, played Pomp and Circumstance, as the graduates, many arm-in-arm, filed into the stadium. Salutatorian Mayra Arellano led the Pledge of Allegiance and the seating of her fellow classmates.

Antioch School Board President Gary Hack was first to speak.

“You’ve made it this far. The key words are ‘this far’. Your journey is not done. It’s not finished,” he said. “Cherish your accomplishments. Enjoy this day.”

Student speakers included student body president Natasha Cao and Valedictorian Edwin Reyes-Barreras.

Valedictorian Edwin Reyes-Barreras offers his thoughts.

“Everyone said the next four years will fly by. I can say I didn’t believe them,” Cao said. “Yet we find ourselves here today and I’m proud of every single person who made it in spite of their setbacks.”

For the happiness and hardships we will face, I encourage you to embrace the change,” Whether good or bad we have been touched by Deer Valley one way or another. Be proud of your background and the person you will fight to become.”

“To love is to give. We are the only ones able to define success,” she concluded. “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.”

Reyes-Barrares spoke next, saying, “My goal since I was in kindergarten was to be here on this stage as valedictorian. In my junior year I felt like giving up. But I’m glad I did not give up.”

“Keep going for it…and never give up,” he implored his classmates. “I want to congratulate the Class of 2019 for their hard work. Never lose sight of your goals.”

The Divine Voices, who sang the National Anthem, sang “A Blessing” and “For Good” from the musical Wicked under the direction of Choral Director Michelle Stark

The Divine Voices perform for the graduates.

Deer Valley principal, Dr. Bukky Oyebade speaks to her students for the final time.

Dr. Bukky Oyebade, principal of Deer Valley, proudly stated the school had made the 2018-19 California Honor Roll School. She then shared some encouraging thoughts with the graduates.

“Today is only one step toward a brighter future. Today we celebrate your hard work and tenacity,” Dr. Bukky said. “Think about why you were born. Who else can I bless? Don’t be afraid. Be somebody. Don’t waste your time. Be about your business. “

“Congratulations Class of 2019. You rock,” she concluded.

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, Crystal Sawyer-White, Mary Rocha and Ellie Householder handed the graduates their diplomas.

The tassel ceremony was led by ASB President Cao, and the graduates cheered, with some throwing their caps into the air to end the morning’s ceremonies.

Students from the school’s DVTV livestreamed the ceremony on YouTube, including aerial footage using a drone flying overhead. It can be viewed, here beginning at about the 29-minute mark.

The Deer Valley High Class of 2019 graduates turn their tassels and celebrate.

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DVHS Class of 2019 grads celebrate


Dr. Bukky Oyebade, Principal


Divine Voices perform


Valedictorian Edwin Reyes-Barreras speaks


ASB Pres Natasha Cao speaks


DVHS Class of 2019


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