King City High School graduate Jovany Remijio turns his tassel as the Class of 2021 ends their high school journey on June 5. More than 220 seniors graduated at War Memorial Stadium that day. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — King City High School’s Class of 2021 saw more than 220 students finish their journey with a graduation at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Last year’s graduation included both an online ceremony as well as an outdoor ceremony in a drive-thru format due to Covid-19 health guidelines. This year, graduates gathered in person with seating spaced apart and their families and friends able to watch from the grandstands.

“Only 13 short years ago we filled our backpacks for the first time with our school supplies and began our journey,” said Alejandra Tejeda, ASB president. “This ceremony is a reflection of all our hard work. For some it’s a sigh of relief that we are finally done with high school, and for others it is a bittersweet moment.”

Tejeda thanked those who helped the graduates in their academic journey during the past 13 years and reflected on the nuances of the four years of high school.

“Our high school experience has come to an end. I’m excited and anxious to see what we all become as we go our separate ways after this graduation,” she said. “Regardless of the mistakes we will make, always choose to keep on going. Good luck in life, I wish you all nothing but happiness and success.”

Valedictorian Joshua Riley also spoke during the June 5 ceremony.

“If Covid taught me anything, it’s that you never know when life is going to throw a curveball at you,” Riley said. “When things are bad, you always have two choices: make the most of it or give up. … Never let the hardships of today weigh down the opportunities of tomorrow.”

Salutatorian Filitza Silva-Silva gave a shout-out to the school’s teachers, who continued to persevere during the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Especially through this abnormal year, our teachers continued to educate us while confronting technological difficulties, questioning whether anyone was actually paying attention during lectures, and other obstacles,” Silva-Silva said. “I appreciate your dedication as educators and hope that you all will carry on this dedication through your teaching careers.”

Silva-Silva noted that while some may look back on their high school years with joy and others with disgust, they all went through similar challenges due to the pandemic and more than a year of distance learning.

“We were able to surpass these situations and I congratulate all of you on your work that has led you to reach this milestone,“ Silva-Silva said.

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Sean Roney is a freelance 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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