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Dos Pueblos’ Graduates Ready to Charge Into the Future

Departing Principal Mark Swanitz offers words of encouragement for the senior class

The bleachers were packed at Scott O’Leary Stadium on Thursday evening as family and friends cheered for the more than 500 graduating seniors of Dos Pueblos High School as they circled the racetrack and crossed the proverbial finish line.

“Graduation is not the end; it is the beginning,” Principal Mark Swanitz said.

In his opening speech, Swanitz recapped the many accomplishments of the class of 2010 — from academics and sports to theater and community service. The students have earned more than $500,000 in scholarship money, and many have been accepted into prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Brown, Stanford, MIT, UCLA, UCSB and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo — Swanitz’s alma mater.

“You have set the bar high for future Chargers,” said Swanitz, who recently was appointed principal of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School. Shawn Carey has been named his successor, effective July 1.

As the students prepare to charge into the future, Swanitz offered these words of encouragement: “If at first you don’t succeed, do it the way your mother told you to.” Cheers and air horns erupted from the crowd.

Class president Matthew McClenathen gave a short pep speech that energized the crowd with its ending remark, “Once a Charger, always a Charger!”

Student speakers Alex Gutierrez, Kevin Davis and Morgan Olson each delivered speeches with a unique version of encouragement for the future.

As Davis explored his philosophical journey through the notion of the “real world,” he came to the conclusion that “the best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.” He told of his transformation from a freshman with “eyes gazing wide” to a Dos Pueblos Charger ready to take on the adult world with the lessons from teachers and mentors close at heart.

“People fail because of the limits they place on themselves; take control of your destiny,” Swanitz said in his closing remarks. “We are trusting you with our future.”

Parent Jesus Aguilera said, “It’s a mix of emotion I can’t describe. It’s scary. I don’t know what to expect for my son’s future. But I am very proud.”

Noozhawk intern Andrea Ellickson, a UCSB graduate, is a journalism student at SBCC. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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