Deer Valley High sends off 381 Class of 2023 graduates

The Deer Valley High School Class of 2023 grads turn the tassels on their caps inside the Los Medanos College stadium on Friday morning, June 9, 2023. Photos by Allen D. Payton

By Allen D. Payton

The Deer Valley High School Class of 2023 graduates, family and friends celebrated their shared accomplishment on Friday morning, June 9th. After entering with their teachers to the traditional playing of Pomp and Circumstance, inside the Los Medanos College football stadium, where the ceremonies were held due to the new turf field being installed in Wolverine Stadium, the graduates were welcomed by teacher and cross-country coach, Michael Green and enjoyed a performance of the National Anthem by the Divine Voices.

The Deer Valley Divine Voices sing the National Anthem. Teacher and coach Michael Green welcomes all in attendance.

They then heard from their first-year principal, Casey Lewis.

“Your journey made the days many,” he said speaking of the COVID pandemic. “Value you those you trust the most. Value those moments. Let them know you care. You don’t have to be great to get started. But you have to get started to be great.”

The grads hear from first-year Principal Casey Lewis.

“It has been an absolute honor to be your principal especially this class which was my first class. So, stay classy,” he added.

Antioch School Board Area 3 Trustee Dr. Clyde Lewis (no relation to the principal) spoke of the “Wolverine spirit”.

AUSD Trustee Dr. Clyde Lewis speaks to the grads about the “Wolverine Spirit”.

“People who exhibit the Wolverine spirit are typically fearless and are not intimated by anything,” he said. “They are risk-takers and are so focused on their pursuits that the thought of failure does not stop them from their mission. Being a Wolverine means being a spirited, bold trendsetter who goes against the grain to accomplish their goals.”

Senior Class President Heather Galiwango speaks to her fellow graduates as Trustee Lewis listens.

Senior Class President Heather Galiwango then spoke to her classmates saying, “13 years. It’s been 13 years that the government mapped out a road for us. It seems as though our whole lives revolve around school until we got to high school. Then we overworked ourselves.”

“We’ve overcome a pandemic. We became the first class to have personalized parking spots,” she shared to cheers from the graduates. “Your successes as Deer Valley Wolverines are so impressive. Always know I’m rooting for you in your little corners.  Thank you and congrats.”

Valedictorian Ryan Cao shares his thoughts with his classmates as Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Christine Ibarra looks on.

“At the beginning of this year I couldn’t wait to graduate. Now that I’m here, I feel the opposite,” said Valedictorian Ryan Cao. “Throughout my entire life I’ve always longed for the next chapter of my life. I didn’t spend enough time with my friends…and especially my grandfather.”

“Don’t let anyone question your talent or ability,” he continued. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Cherish what you have in the moment.”

The Class of 2023 grads receive their diplomas inside LMC stadium.

Principal Lewis introduced the Class of 2023 to Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Christine Ibarra who accepted the class for completing the requirements set forth by the Antioch Unified School District.

“Henceforth you are to be considered graduates and alumni of Deer Valley High School,” she said to cheers.

Several grads decorated their caps with special messages.

The Deer Valley Choir and Divine Voices who sang the National Anthem at the beginning of the ceremonies then performed “A Blessing” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”.

The grads are announced by Math Instructor Jessika Tate (red & white sash, left) and Math Department Chair Maria McClain (yellow and green sash, right).

Math Department Chair Maria McClain and Math Instructor Jessika Tate read the names of the graduates as they received their diplomas by Dr. Lewis and Ibarra, first to the ASB and Class Officers, Valedictorian and Salutatorians then the rest of the graduates, as friends, families and classmates cheered.

Dr. Lewis and Associate Superintendent Ibarra take photos with the grads and their diplomas as classmates await their turn.

Class President Galiwango led the class in the turning of the tassels before they celebrated with hugs and tossing of their caps, before the recessional song of “It’s About Da** Time” played.

The DVHS ASB, 2023 class officers and fellow grads celebrate.

See the video of the graduation ceremonies by DVTV.

Congratulations, graduates. Make Antioch proud!

the attachments to this post:

Dr. Lewis & Assoc Sup Ibarra give out diplomas

Decorated caps

DVHS 2023 grads celebrate

DVHS grads are announced by Maria McClain & Jessika Tate

DVHS grads receive their diplomas

DVHS Sr Class Pres Heather Galiwango speaks

DVHS Class of 2023 Valedictorian Ryan Cao

AUSD Trustee Dr. Clyde Lewis speaks to the grads about Wolverine Spirit

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