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King City
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July 30, 2021

Independent and continuation students celebrate graduation in King City

Portola Butler and Pinnacle Academy grads honored in joint ceremony

KING CITY — Graduates from Portola Butler High School and Pinnacle Academy Charter were honored in a joint ceremony June 3 at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds parking lot in King City.

The drive-in format had several dozen cars, in which graduates sat with their families before they walked the stage to receive their diplomas.

In total, 54 students graduated from Pinnacle’s independent study program, nine graduated from Portola Butler’s continuation high school program, and two graduated from South Monterey County Joint Union High School District’s adult education program.

Three volunteers spoke on behalf of the graduating class from Pinnacle, as the campuses didn’t have a traditional valedictorian or salutatorian.

Graduate Jessica Hernandez congratulated her fellow graduates and thanked the many people who helped the graduating class along their journey.

“Tomorrow isn’t promised,” Hernandez said. “Remember that life is what we make of it.”

“I know that this is not how we envisioned our senior year would go, but I have one request for my classmates today,” added Kayla Ledesma, another graduate. “Love one another and be positive because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

Graduate Emma DeLeon noted the class made it through the Covid-19 pandemic and its challenges, and encouraged her classmates to keep going with their heads held up with an unstoppable spirit.

“For most of us, high school has felt like an eternity, and for others, it went by in a blink of an eye,” DeLeon said. “It is hard to believe or even accept that this chapter of our life is coming to an end after today, but life moves forward, and a new chapter is beginning.”

Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.
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