Family members, friends, teachers, and school staff cheered inside the crowded multipurpose room at Leo A. Palmiter High School as members of the 2011 graduating class proudly accepted their high school diplomas during a June 3rd commencement ceremony.
The ceremony acknowledged the academic achievements of the fourteen graduating students, ten of whom are entering college in the fall. In addressing the graduates, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon offered congratulations and praise.
"Throughout your school career, your parents and guardians have looked forward to this day," Superintendent Gordon said. "But please understand that your teachers, counselors, principals, and other school staff who have encouraged and nurtured you along the way also are celebrating. They are filled with pride and they share in your happiness."
Principal Lauren Roth was assisted in presenting diplomas to the students by Superintendent Gordon, Deputy Superintendent Sue Stickel, Assistant Superintendent Robin Pierson, County School Board Trustees Jackie Levy, Eleanor Brown and Greg Geeting, School Psychologist Kathleen Larson, senior class teachers Michaelann Boyle and Ted Smith, and Palmiter School Social Worker Gary Barker.
In addition to hard work inside the classroom, the 2011 Palmiter graduating class was also involved in community service projects that provided the students with valuable life experiences. The graduating class participated in Graduation by Exhibition, volunteered at the Sacramento Food Bank and Sacramento Family Services, and represented their school in SCOE's third annual Academic Bowl.
"Thanks to our students for pursuing your quest of finishing high school, earning your diploma, and moving forward," Assistant Superintendent Pierson said. "You had a dream to stay in school and believed in yourself."
The commencement ceremony featured student speaker Tyler Wright, the recipient of the 2011 Principal's Award, who said he and his fellow classmates leave with the knowledge and ability to make their own way and lead fulfilled lives.
"We have been fortunate to have had many inspiring mentors in our lives: parents, teachers and peers. Their patience and understanding, perseverance and belief in us was unwavering," Wright said. "They believed in us even when we didn't believe in ourselves. They never gave up on us."
Family members, friends, mentors, school faculty, and staff applauded 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. 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. Students are provided a standards-based educational program that is supported by a strong vocational/ transitional/school-to-world emphasis.