Tag Archives: graduation

Class of 2019 says their final goodbye to Tahoma

By Monique Contreras

Staff Writer

As the year comes to an end, emotions are heightened as the Class of 2019 launches into a new journey. They will have to say goodbye to the bonds, the friends and the family that they have made here to grow and be successful in their quest for college.

The departure of the Class of 2019 not only affects the other students at Summit Tahoma but the teachers as well. Each year, another class leaves and leaves behind an inspiration to the following class that graduates.

The mentors who have been with the Class of 2019 since their first day are the most deeply affected. This is because the mentors helped their students grow and be successful in high school, and they even raised them as their own children.

High school was a long, arduous journey that has prepared us for what will come in the future, whether it be college, work or trade school. The bonds made will not be broken nor forgotten but remembered as a warm memory.

Our relationship with our mentors will always be remembered as loving parents who wanted nothing but the best for us. Our mentors played a significant role in our journey, and they will never be forgotten.

I would like to speak for the Class of 2019 and say that we appreciate everything that was given to us, and we wouldn’t be able to make it to where we are without the love and care given to us since freshman year.

Shown below is a video where some seniors from the Class of 2019 discuss what they will remember from Tahoma and how they are prepared for their new journey ahead. Two mentors are also shown explaining the impact their mentees had on them and how they are expecting great things from us.

See below for a video tribute to the Tahoma Class of 2019:

Featured Image (at the top of this post): Summit Tahoma seniors smile for their last picture as the Class of 2019. PHOTO CREDIT: LifeTouch

The last hurrah: Planning graduation

By Jennifer Valencia

Everest Editor-in-Chief

Graduating high school is something every high schooler dreams of throughout the four years. The rigorous process students must go through in order to achieve the goal of graduating high school is a long one.

Not only must students experience the confusion and emotional distress of experiencing high school, they must also grow up and find out what they want to do for the rest of their life. It might be a roller coaster, but having their loved ones be able to see them walk the stage is worth it all.

Currently, the seniors at Everest are on the road to graduating, which means preparing for the ceremony, ending the year on a high note and also being able to enjoy the last two months of high school.

Graduation will be on June 9 at the Sequoia Carrington Hall in Sequoia High School. The graduation ceremony has been there for the last seven classes.

There has always been the saying that high school flashes right before you, which is very true. In a short few weeks, the seniors will be committing to their college of choice where they will continue their journey.

The graduation committee at Everest is a group of parent volunteers, as well as some of the staff here at Everest. Students are also able to help as the date nears closer.

The buzz around the senior class is growing with excitement and nervousness as emails and talks begin to grow about graduation. Whether it’s for your ticket count or gown measurements, those communications make it clear to all that graduation is soon.

The ceremony includes speeches from different people at Everest: the director, a chosen Everest faculty member, a senior and every senior mentor. Something that is new this year is that the ceremony will be bilingual for Spanish-speaking families. 

Although Everest is a small school and the senior class is small compared to an “average” high school, that doesn’t mean that the ceremony is going to be any less eventful.


Ana Lara, operations manager at Everest

Someone who is a big part of the planning of the ceremony is the Everest Operations Manager, Ana Lara. Ms. Lara has worked at Everest for two years now and has previously mentored a group of seniors.

Ms. Lara has worked closely with everyone  who is a part of the planning committee. When talking about all of the emotions leading up to graduation, she said, “Students seem to be excited and are looking forward to graduation. They’re looking forward to early release, Prom and senior trip. The excitement continues both from faculty and students as college acceptances are coming in.”

The fact that Everest is a bit different from a traditional high school means that the process of such an important ceremony might also be a bit different. Ms. Lara explained that this graduation compared to others is “a bit more personalized to showcase the personality of our students.”


Ignatius Hayer, Everest senior

Everest senior Ignatius Hayer is a part of the graduation committee. He has been a part of the entire process of planning this grand event. Not only is Hayer helping to plan graduation this year; he also did so last year.

When asked how the planning process has been going so far, Hayer responded, “We are very excited; this graduation is going to be the best yet. This year we decided to add some Spanish translation.”


Jenny Macho, senior mentor

Jenny Macho is the AP English Literature teacher at Everest Public High School and is also a senior mentor. Ms. Macho spoke about the emotions leading up to graduation: “I would say there is a very wide range of emotion; obviously some people are really excited to move on from Everest. Coming from a small school where you know everyone and [have] been with the same people for four years, you can get sick of them.”

The excitement among the Everest seniors is clear as graduation moves closer. Graduation marks the end of a journey and the beginning of a new era. This will be the last time seniors get to be in a room with the classmates they have studied with, fought with and bonded with for the past few years. After that day, many will go their separate ways, never to see each other again.

Featured image (at the top of this post): Everest Executive Director Chris Lewine announces the newly graduated Class of 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Karla Santana


Planning Prom at a small school proves challenging

High school dropout rates are falling, but the price is high

By CC Logan and Indigo Rossi

Staff Writers

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the high school dropout rate has been steadily decreasing since the 1990’s, and, as of 2014, was at the quite low 6.5 percent. However, this isn’t always a good thing if education quality is sacrificed.

In a report by ets.org, an organization dedicated to creating educational opportunities, a study in 2007 found that high school dropouts make $9,200 less per year and $375,000 less over the course of their lives than high school graduates. It is clear getting a high school diploma significantly betters the lives of the people who obtain them.

Many schools prevent students from dropping out in the right way. According to an article by edutopia.org, a site created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, getting parents involved in their students’ education and connecting classes to the real world are just a few of the effective strategies that keep kids in schools.


Mary Beth Thompson served as the dean of students for tenth and eleventh grade students during the 2016-17 school year. 

Summit Preparatory Charter High School is a school with less than 1 percent of students dropping out, Summit Prep Executive Director Penelope Pak McMillan as stated in an email. According to Mary Beth Thompson, dean of students for the tenth and eleventh grade, one of their main strategies at Summit Prep is to have interventions. Dean Thompson said interventions are done with parents, peers, teachers, mentors and other people who have gone through similar situations.  This shows that personal bonds and special personalized attention keep kids in school.

All these examples and more show that educators in recent years have made a positive push to keep kids in school, and, with the continuation of these strategies, more kids will continue to graduate.

However, for some schools and states, their lower dropout rate comes with a lower quality of education. In a Los Angeles Times article, it was stated, “The California Department of Education reported a rise in the statewide graduation rate, to 82 percent. But one reason for that was the cancellation of the high school exit exam, which used to be required for graduation and which students could pass only if they had attained a modicum of understanding of Algebra and English skills.”

The article also stated Texas schools will allow students to participate in homeschooling or alternative methods of education without checking if they are actually getting this education. Part of the reason for these tactics is the creation of an act called Every Student Succeeds, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act and aimed to create equal opportunity for all students. This makes it so schools are accountable for new graduation rates that incentivizes schools to use cheap tactics to improve graduation rates.

In the NAEP, an assessment of seniors nationwide, it was found that fewer than 40 percent were actually ready for college-level work in 2013. A huge purpose of high school it to prepare students to be successful later on in life; college is a huge part of that, and schools are failing more than 60 percent of students.

An example of this is the Berea High School in Greenville, S.C. The New York Times found that in four years their graduation rate has jumped from 65 percent to 80 percent. However, according to the ACT college entrance exam, only one-tenth of the eleventh graders were ready for college level work and only one-fourteenth were ready for entry-level math.

This is a clear case of quantity over quality. It is not better to have fewer students graduate, but those that do should be prepared for college and the real world. While having higher graduation rates is undoubtedly good, we need to take a long hard look at how we achieve them.