During a morning ceremony, inside a crowded gymnasium filled with proud family members, friends, and teachers, the graduating classes from the Leo A. Palmiter High School campus donned caps and gowns and received their diplomas during a June 10 commencement exercise.
Held in the gymnasium of El Camino High School, due to an ongoing renovation project at the Palmiter campus, the ceremony acknowledged the academic achievements of the ten students graduating from Palmiter.
In addressing the graduating class, Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon challenged students to try new things, seek opportunities, and appreciate their own value.
"I hope you realize that because of your effort and dedication you have many things to be proud of and there are many things in your life for which you should be thankful," Superintendent Gordon said. "You have great potential. Do not underestimate it. Please realize that all people who have accomplished great things—at some point in their lives—were much like you."
Principal Carmen Walker was assisted in presenting diplomas to the students by County School Board Trustee Gretchen Bender, Superintendent Gordon, and Deputy Superintendent Marty Cavanaugh.
"Seniors, we have accomplished many new milestones this year and have a lot to celebrate," Principal Carmen Walker said. "I am proud of each and every one of you and gladly celebrate your personal growth and successes and extend my personal congratulations to all of you!"
Several graduating seniors addressed the assembly. Palmiter High School graduate Samantha Dixon-Noxon told her fellow graduates to focus on their achievements.
"I also wanted to tell the 2008 High School Graduates of Leo A. Palmiter to never give up on what you want to achieve in life no matter what is in your way. Also never give up on what you believe in. Also, make sure you have strength to survive the real world. Believe in yourself no matter what happens," Samantha said.
Graduating senior Travis Ford told his classmates to continue working hard and be proud of what they've accomplished.
"This is our day, our day to remember, to never forget where we all came from. We may not have been fed from a silver spoon, but whatever you wish for can come true if you put your mind to it," Travis said.
Several hundred family members, friends, mentors, school faculty, and staff cheered the graduates and celebrated at a reception following the ceremony.
Leo A. Palmiter Jr/Sr High School provides education to special needs students with the primary disability of Emotional Disturbance (ED) in grades 7–12. Services and programs meet the unique educational, behavioral, and mental health needs of the students. The students are referred directly from the local school districts of Sacramento County that are unable to provide the more highly structured behavioral support program available at Palmiter. The students receive site counseling from the school social worker and site-based mental therapy from Sacramento County Mental Health. In addition, students are provided a standards-based educational program that is supported by a strong vocational/transitional/school-to-world emphasis.