Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Celebrating the future: Office of Education honors students heading to college

Fifty-seven of the 109 local students who will attend four-year colleges and universities gathered Thursday for a special recognition dinner. Photo by Harold La Bonte.


KELSEYVILLE The educational future of more than 100 Lake County high school students was celebrated at a special event at Kelseyville High School on April 19.

The purpose of the gathering was to honor the graduates who will be moving on to four-year colleges and universities.

Jamey Gill, curriculum specialist with the Lake County Office of Education (LCOE), coordinated the event and acted as the master of ceremonies.

Fifty-seven of the 109 local students who will be attending college or university – along with their parents and other guests – were treated to live music courtesy of Tom Aiken and the Kelseyville High School Jazz Band along with a dinner created and managed by Michelle Malm with help from several Kelseyville High students.

While the majority of students were accepted to Western-area colleges, two are looking to the Eastern seaboard as their home for the next four years.

Cory Gerths of Kelseyville was selected by four schools including Northeastern University in Boston. Kaila Budwell, a senior from Lower Lake High, is looking forward to her architectural studies at the University of Miami in Florida.

Following dinner, District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing delivered the evening's keynote speech.

Rushing admitted to having to rewrite her original address following the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech.

She praised the students as well as the parents who have helped motivate their children. Rushing encouraged the students to “follow the call to leadership in their chosen field” and to “always look ahead, never doubt your ability.”

Rushing, a Stanford University graduate, perhaps gave her most important advice by suggesting that the students “respect yourself, your body, watch what you put into it, respect those around you,” and added that youth doesn’t last forever.

The certificates were presented by representatives from LCOE as well as Yuba College, Mendocino College, UC Davis, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, Sacramento State, DeVry University and the University of California's Office of the President (UCOP).

Closing comments from Angel Max Guerrero, UCOP, echoed those by Rushing. He also encouraged all of the soon-to-be-college students to explore all opportunities, examine every option, travel as much as possible, and do their best to continue to expand every horizon including learning second and third languages.

LCOE Superintendent Dave Geck was visibly pleased with the event and very proud of the students as well as the entire LCOE staff.

“Being involved in this program and being recognized this way helps inspire them to continue on, removing some of the barriers of self doubt,” Geck said. “We're helping them build confidence, we're helping them really see the potential they have.”


Students and their parents were treated to a dinner and an evening of music and speakers. Photo by Harold La Bonte.


Supervisor Denise Rushing gives the evening's keynote address. Photo by Harold La Bonte.


Jacqueline Wilson of Lower Lake listens to Supervisor Denise Rushing's keynote address. Wilson will study nursing at St. Mary's in Moraga. Photo by Harold La Bonte.


The Kelseyville High Jazz Band was part of the night's entertainment. Photo by Harold La Bonte.





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