Mountain View High, San Jacinto Adult and Mountain Heights Academy totals 277 accomplished students
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Smaller high schools aren’t usually associated with big events. But on Wednesday June 6, the graduates of Mountain View Alternative High School, Mountain Heights Academy, and San Jacinto Adult School came together to celebrate their commencement in the biggest way. This year saw the largest graduating class with a final headcount of 277; 250 of whom were present that evening. The overall breakdown was 47 students from Mountain Heights Academy, 77 from SJ Adult School and Mountain View with 153.
These 250 graduates were welcomed by friends and family who awaited them at the San Jacinto High School stadium, representing the largest combined class the three schools have had to date.
Mountain View Principal Ken Swanson described the evening as a celebration of education, “It doesn’t matter if it took them four years to do, or took them six or ten…Some of my people here might have taken 20 years to get it done, but they finally decided it was time to get it done!”
MVHS Valedictorian Jaime Oceguera Jr., who is now headed to Cal State San Marcos, described the educational experience at Mountain View like a living being: “While the staff is the heart of the school, the students are the spirit; Every single student sitting down in front of me has a story to tell, and so do I. We’ve all struggled so much to get to where we are today.”
Representing Warrior pride this year was Jasmine Jones, who graduated at the top of her class. “When I tell people where I go to school, they always give me stares and say ‘Oh you go to that school!’ or ‘I heard that was a bad kids school!’ I always gotta come back and say ‘Yeah, that school. The award-winning school. The school that has more kids getting awards and scholarships than most high schools!’ You know we did it, we did it!” said Jones.
Among those earning scholarships this year, 16 were presented at this evening’s ceremony. These included the Hemet/SJ Valley Student of the Year award, which went to Jaime Oceguera, the SJUSD Cabinet Scholarship which went to Holly Elena Mares of MVHS, the Assistance League of Hemacinto Las Madrinas Scholarship, which was presented to Jasmine Jones, among many others.
Before accepting Swanson’s certification, superintendent Diane Perez addressed the class about obtaining as much education as they could: “You now have something that no one can ever take away from you; your education, your diploma. I implore you to continue your education because you know you now can do anything you set your mind to.”
Perez says over 160 of tonight’s graduates are headed to a college or university. After accepting Swanson’s certification, Perez and her staff wasted no time handing out her graduates’ papers, so that they could head off with their families into the sunset to celebrate. Congratulations are in order for the graduates of San Jacinto’s Alternative schools.