Editors Note: This week and next, the Sun-Gazette will cover Tulare County high school and continuation school graduations.
STRATHMORE – A grouping of blue and red robes walked up the back side of the home bleachers of Spartan Stadium, and down to the field for their commencement ceremony. The Graduating Class of 2019 were ready to take the first steps toward a new chapter in their lives sybmolized by a diploma. It was a class of 75 students who continued to put Strathmore on the map.
Willow Werlhof, this year’s salutatorian, highlighted three accomplishments of the class during her reflection speech. The crowning academic achievement was the class had a hand in the further advancement of the school’s pathway by building a new agriculture center on the west side of the campus. The 20-acers are split into two facilities. The larger 14-acers is the main part, and includes: three green houses, a shade house, a crop box, and a farmer’s market.
In athletics some of the students, as juniors, were members of the 2017 Spartans’ football team that won the first ever state championship in the history of Tulare County. The Spartans championship in the history of Tulare County. The Spartans defeated the Orange Panthers 31-29 to claim to the Division 6AA title. As seniors they made a school record third straight appearance in a state bowl game this past fall.
Then Welhof concluded with possibly the greatest individual act of selflessness from the Class of 2019. Josue Topete busted into a friend’s home, and broke up a possible homicide when he disarmed a man with a gun and wrestled him to the ground.
“All of us working together as a Spartan family to achieve such amazing accomplishments are continuing to put Strathmore on the map,” Werlhof said. “Strathmore has provided us the chance to not only grow academically, but to personally grow too,” Werlof said.
The agriculture pathway at Strathmore developed another good crop in the Class of 2019. A total of 29 students completed the pathway with many of them being Future Farmers of America (FFA) Scholars as well.
Werlof gave praise to the faculty at Strathmore for all the success. A compliment which was also given during Jadon Guires’ opening speech. Guire added the support of all the families in with the teachers.
“We couldn’t have done it without the love and support you have given us,” Guire said.
Guire encouraged his fellow classmates to take the lessons they had all learned in the past four years and apply them in the next chapter of their lives.
“Wherever life may take you know you will succeed because you are a Spartan,” Guire said.