Golden West says farewell to 40th class of trailblazers

2019’s graduating class lays claim to multiple top tier awards and over $26,000 raised for Valley Children’s


VISALIA – Golden West High School reached a milestone last Friday. The Class of 2019 was the school’s 40th graduating class since it opened in 1979.

None of the graduates of course were alive when the school opened its doors, but they definitely left their mark on its halls. Student speaker Hannah Putnam remarked during her speech on how far graduation seemed when her and her classmates first walked onto campus 1,344 days ago.

“It went by fast, just like everyone said it would, and I hope with all my heart, each one of you has cherished these moments we have spent together as the Class of 2019,” Putnam said.

Putnam brought to mind the countless West Yosemite League titles, and Valley Championships the Blazers won across a wide spectrum of sports over their four years. The Golden West marching, and jazz band, orchestra, and choir programs continuing to earn the highest ratings at musical festivals located all across the state. As a school the senior class led the way raising $26,318 for Valley Children’s hospital on Kids Day. It was the most raised by any Visalia Unified high school. The business and Distributive Education Clubs of America programs won multiple titles, and the FFA and agriculture programs earned countless top-tier awards.

However, Putnam encouraged her classmates that if they did not have any memories to cherish to stay in the moment as they all said farewell to Golden West.

“Today we say goodbye to everything that’s familiar to us, everything that we have been a part of, and that became a part of us,” Putnam said.

Putnam admitted that disciplining teenagers is about as easy as trying to nail Jell-O to a tree, and it didn’t matter whether you were a parent, a teacher, or someone else. She followed that statement up with giving credit where it was due.

“The work that you have all put into making us who we are today has not gone unnoticed,” Putnam said.

Catie Camargo shared some of the same sentiment. She reflected on their first days as students 13 years ago. She spoke of the obstacles the class of 2019 had overcome as a unit, and the many lessons they have learned from them. Although, she admitted that there was also much to learn from their mistakes. And in her parting words, Camargo relayed to her class to continue striving in their lives, because now that high school has ended, the rest of their lives begin.

“So, to the class of 2019 let the races begin!”

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