During a late-morning ceremony, inside a crowded multi-purpose room filled with proud family members, friends, teachers, and staff, the 2009 graduating class from Leo A. Palmiter High School donned caps and gowns and received their diplomas on June 9 during a commencement exercise.
The ceremony acknowledged the academic achievements of the nine students graduating from Palmiter. In addressing the graduates, Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon congratulated them for meeting the many challenges they faced during their high school years.
"Today, we honor the accomplishments of our seniors who have worked hard and reached some goals that may have seemed unreachable to many others, even to them. But thanks to a lot of hard work and support from teachers, school staff, and loved ones, you have accomplished great things," Superintendent Gordon said.
Principal Carmen Walker was assisted in presenting diplomas to the students by Superintendent Gordon, County School Board Trustee Greg Geeting, Deputy Superintendent Marty Cavanaugh, Assistant Superintendent Robin Pierson, and Palmiter School Social Worker Gary Barker.
The Palmiter 2009 graduating class participated in the school's 4th annual Graduation by Exhibition exercise in which they demonstrated their accomplishments and their skills to a panel of teachers and staff. Exhibitions are an assessment tool that illustrates student potential and capacity for learning.
"You have finished high school with pride and honor and with expectations for the future," Assistant Superintendent Pierson said. "This day, this moment, is yours."
In addition to hard work inside the classroom, the 2009 Palmiter graduating class was also involved in a number of community service projects that provided the students with valuable life experiences.
"We served more than 1,000 people over two visits at the Sacramento Food Locker in Del Paso Heights. We clothed and fed over 300 children and adults in need at the Oak Park Food Locker," Palmiter Student Council Advisor Michaelann Boyle proudly reminded the students.
Graduating senior Carleen Davis addressed the assembly and told her fellow graduates to be proud of their achievements. She also said she will always appreciate her time on the Palmiter campus.
"I feel that I have become a better student and a better person thanks to the help and support of my teachers and the staff here at Palmiter," Carleen said.
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.