Antioch High Grads Celebrate

By Tami Barrera

Antioch High’s graduation ceremony was filled with a rambunctious crowd eager to graduate, balloons in the air being popped incessantly, beach balls erupting into the senior crowd accompanied by strong, rich and full oooohs and ahhhhhs swiftly followed by boos to the Antioch staff that kept confiscating the items.

The seniors just wanted to have fun on their last day as reigning seniors.

Senior Class President Paul “Lenny” Costa III took to the stage with the message, “Every single one of you makes a huge difference.”

Before telling everyone “to dream their own dream,” he reminded the senior class that they witnessed the introduction of new technology – the iPhone and the PlayStation 3, they experienced Britney Spears’ shaved head, they were part of history in the making when Barack Obama was elected president, they saw the San Francisco Giants finally win their sixth World Series after 56 years of a dry spell, they saw the death of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the death of Osama Bin Laden, they were inspired by artists Lady Gaga, the Foo Fighters, Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift and they enjoyed the movies The Dark Knight, Transformers and 300.

Costa explained that every graduating senior is more than just a number, and encouraged them to take the world by storm and “stand up and make a difference.” He let the graduating class know that they are meant for greatness, they are made with a purpose and they “have the power to do whatever they set their minds to.”

Before stepping down and turning the podium over to the four salutatorians and seven valedictorians, Costa gave some last minute advice: “First, never use your teeth or your car keys as tools. Second, never criticize a man’s driving; it makes us very upset. Never ever cook a corndog in the microwave – it needs to be cooked in the oven. And never take sleeping pills and laxatives at the same time.”

He closed with a poem by his grandmother that was written in 1969:

Why give yesterday and its dwellers
one mite of consideration
if it sheds one dim light on today.
Why fret about the past
or its stigmas attached to it
when the only thing it accomplishes
is to depress the present.
Each new day
should bring a fresh awareness of life.
The realization of goals
and dreams come true.
Be vital today –
let no thoughts of yesterday prevail
unless it adds glory today.

Antioch Unified School District Superintendent Donald Gill accepted the class of 2011 and told them the secret of making a million dollars in their lifetime: stay in school and finish post secondary certificates and bachelor degrees. “After you further your education use your newly acquired knowledge for the economic and social well being in any community where your career ultimately takes you,” he said.

May all Antioch High’s graduates know that they have accomplished a feat that will propel them to greatness in the future. Congratulations, Class of 2011.

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