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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 2:37 am | Fair 48º


Despite Rain, Graduation for Alta Vista and La Cuesta High Schools Marches On

80 seniors and their friends and families brave the weather for commencement

Alta Vista Alternative High School senior Sam Rocha cracks a joke Tuesday during her commencement speech.
Alta Vista Alternative High School senior Sam Rocha cracks a joke Tuesday during her commencement speech. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

The day was dreary, but seniors from Alta Vista Alternative and La Cuesta Continuation high schools didn’t let the rain ruin their graduation day.

About 80 students marked the end of their high school careers with an outdoor ceremony on a rainy Tuesday evening at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens, where family and friends braved the muddy grass and held on to balloons, cards, flowers and umbrellas.

Graduates huddled under the courthouse archway, only walking out to give speeches or grab diplomas — all under cover of an umbrella handed to them one at a time.

The rain was much needed during this prolonged drought, and Frann Wageneck, principal of both schools, took that as a good omen for the black cap and gown-clad class of 2015.

“If things are hard, as long as you wait and hope long enough, good things will happen,” she said. 

Wageneck said she was proud of those graduating from the two alternative schools within the Santa Barbara Unified School District, many of whom experienced unexpected challenges that could have spelled an end to their high-school careers.

Rain couldn't dampen the spirits Tuesday during the graduation ceremony for La Cuesta Continuation High School and Alta Vista Alternative High School. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Alta Vista Alternative High School serves students in four grades who prefer independent study, and La Cuesta Continuation High School offers an alternative education program that caters to students in grades 10 through 12.

Students offered emotional or witty speeches to acknowledge their fellow students’ achievements.

Miraya Martineau, Kristian Taylor, Sam Rocha and Analyss Sundara spoke on behalf of Alta Vista’s graduating class of 53, and Gilbert Rodriguez-Saligan provided a voice to La Cuesta’s 27 graduates.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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