RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe School Class of 2010 graduated into high school June 16 during ceremonies held at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club before several hundred parents, relatives and friends.
Just about every student from the small but special class of about 70 received some kind of special recognition during the ceremony for their athletic ability, academic prowess or community service.
As the graduates were about to enter the garden club in groups of two or three, Vice Principal Blake Isaac gave each group a few words of encouragement before sending them down the walkway before the crowd to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
“Take a deep breath,” he said. “Smile. This is all for you. Take it all in.” His advice seemed to help take the edge off the nervous graduates.
Superintendent Lindy Delaney led off the speakers, applauding the Class of 2010 for their achievements.
“This is the last time you will be together as a group,” she said. “Your future awaits. You can be anything you want to be.”
She also took the chance to give the school staff some recognition.
“We have a staff second to none,” Delaney said. “They care about your children like no other.”
The next speaker was Jonathan Liang, the student council eighth-grade governor who expressed appreciation to the parents, staff, school board and other dignitaries.
“We can’t thank you enough for helping us grow,” Jonathan said.
With that, the school’s choir sang “I’ll Stand By You,” and “Defying Gravity.”
Jim Depolo, vice president of the school board, offered a speech of congratulations to the class and asked the students who began their careers at the school in kindergarten and have stayed until their eighth grade graduation to raise their hands. There were quite a few.
“You will have gone to school here longer than you will ever go to school in your educational career,” he said.
He said the most important thing the students have learned at the school is how to learn and to remember not to be afraid to give a wrong answer.
“Sometimes when you give the wrong answer is when you start learning,” he said. “Now go out there and make us proud.”
Academic, athletic, honors recognition and special awards were given by school officials.
Earning Scholars of the Year honors were Peter Hollen, Nicole Kim, Christopher Meyer and Christian Stiker.
Dr. R. Roger Rowe, the school’s namesake, returned for his 50th graduation ceremony.
“Yes, I’m still more or less alive,” he joked with the crowd before naming his own special students of the year, Julia Skyhar and Javon Shapouri.
Afterward, student speakers Alexandra Hanlon and Zoe Kennedy spoke comparing iPod applications with the subjects at school in their speech “iReady-Apps for Life.”
The diplomas were awarded by school board members Scot Cheatham, Jim Depolo, Richard Burge, Jim Cimino and Carlie Headapohl.
After the class was presented to the audience, they walked back down the pathway where the celebration spilled out into the street before continuing on at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.