All three local public high schools will begin selling tickets to graduation the week before the early June commencements.

Robert F. Kennedy will graduate on Wednesday, June 5, from the school stadium with its 9th class including a projected 306 graduates, the most in school history

Each graduate will receive five free tickets with sale of tickets starting May 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the office of the school secretary, Kim Nasca. Charge is $8 for early birds for early entrance to the stadium with regular tickets costing $6.

The class valedictorian will be the senior with the highest grade point average. Summa cum laude honors will go to students with a 4.0 or higher grade-point average; magna cum laude honors to those with a 3.8 to 3.9 GPA; and cum laude honors to students with a 3.5 to 3.7 GPA.

Other awards to be announced at graduation are State seal bi-literacy, Golden State seal merit awards, Academic Block Ks, and President’s award.

Perfect attendance awards will go to Aubrey Jasso for 13 years; for four years of high school Ronil Lagula, Daniel Sandoval, and Ken Tapia.

Senior awards will be presented May 21 at 11 a.m. at the school lecture center with parents invited. Senior counselor Natalie Fragoso, activities director Antonio Medina and the class president will preside.

A senior signing day recognizing students who have been admitted to colleges or selected by the military was scheduled Friday in the main gym.

Cesar E. Chavez High School’s 14th commencement is scheduled Thursday, June 6, at the school stadium with prelude at 6:45 p.m. and ceremonies at 7 p.m.

Each graduate at the June 6 practice will receive five complimentary tickets. Additional tickets are the $8 VIP ticket, offering early entrance to the field at 5 p.m. and the $6 regular tickets, offering general admission with gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Speakers will be the valedictorian or magna cum laude and the teacher voted by seniors as the Most Respected Teacher.

There are 321 graduates scheduled to depart CCHS. Water will be sold at the stadium. Not allowed inside the stadium are drinks, ice chests, balloons, signs, noisemakers, umbrellas or folded seats.

The last graduation on Friday, June 7, will be Delano High School at Gene Beck stadium. Counselor Susana Salazar reports there could be as many as 340 graduates.

Early bird tickets at $8 each and regular admission tickets at $6 each for the 106th commencement exercises will go on sale from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on May 28 and following school days until sold out. They will be available in the office of the athletic director. Albino Duran's office is at the north end of the school administration building which is near the school’s Cecil Avenue parking lot.

Special awards will include recognizing recipients of eight-semester honor roll plaques, funded by the Delano Lions Club at all three schools; lifetime California Scholarship Federation members; perfect attendance; and the school valedictorian.

Early bird gates open at 5 p.m., regular gates at 5:30 pm., the pre-show is at 6:30 p.m. and graduation ceremonies start at 7 p.m.

The combined senior and athletic awards presentations are scheduled Wednesday in the school auditorium, starting at 6 p.m.

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Senior Stephanie Santiago has been honored as Student of the Month and Aloha Francisco and Esmeralda Ordonez as Staff Members of the Month at Delano High.

Santiago, the Student of the Month, carries a 3.73 grade average and is a daughter of Victor and Alicia Santiago. She is a member of the Black Student Union and tutors elementary school age students. On May 2 she was honored at a luncheon at the Bakersfield Country Club with the Judy McCarthy Young Women’s Philanthropy award, the first Delano youth to win the award which she achieved for her various community service projects.

Francisco, a special education teacher and department chair, has worked in the district since 1999 and teaching for nearly 20 years. She worked at Delano Adult School once a week and has taught there for 10 years, for three years was student activities director, and for nearly 20 years has advised the active United Filipino Organization.

“The best part of my job is helping kids learn and grown as well as knowing that I made a positive impact on their lives,” Francisco said. “I also enjoy that I serve in the community I grew up in."

She graduated from Delano High in 1993 and from San Diego State in 1998. She and husband Sean Cacal have children, Quinton, Avery and Sloane.

Ordonez, the counseling services secretary at Delano High for nine years, says some reasons she enjoys working at DHS are the feeling that she is not working for a contract, money or deal, but rather to make a positive impact “on our young teenagers for their futures. Every day is different and every day is a chance to make a difference.

"Kids make me laugh and keep me grounded," she said. "Along with my own, I get to wear many hats. It’s great to see the students’ eyes light up when they pick up their diplomas and to think that maybe, just maybe, I might have had a little to do with it.”

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Olga Rodriguez, a daughter of Manuel and Eva Rodriguez, has been selected by Delano High School to attend Girls State. She ranks No. 30 in her class and has achieved a weighted grade average of 4.0.

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All area seniors are invited to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 10th and Lexington Street, for a special Mass Sunday, May 26, that will include baccalaureate for seniors. Seniors and their families need not be Catholic in order to attend.

Seniors wishing to attend the 11 a.m. Mass are requested to call the church office, 661-725-8456, in advance so that arrangements may be made for seating. Seniors should wear their caps and gowns and be present outside the church by 10:40 a.m.

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Applications for Philippine Weekend activities that are available now at the chamber of commerce office are for the Barrio Fiesta booths, the parade, and the Mister and Miss candidates. The actual weekend is always the last weekend of July.

More information is available at www.philippineweekend.net.

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The chamber of commerce is co-hosting a small business seminar May 16 at the Hyatt. The event is free and starts at 5:30 p.m.

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Current junior girls who have a 3.0 or better overall grade average are being sought to be contestants in the annual Harvest Holidays scholarship program which will take place Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Delano High auditorium.

Applications will soon be ready at the chamber of commerce, 661-725-2518, and more information is available from event chairperson Sumeet Batth-Chavez at the city recreation department.

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For the recent Cinco de Mayo parade there have been numerous first-place awards announced.

The top awards went to Nueva Vista pre-school; Sikaran, the ultimate martial arts; solo riders; Majestic Car Club; Valley High School; Distinguished Young Women of Delano; Carlo’s Rarber Shop, Juan Loera; Pioneer Trailblazer marching band; Juan Sandoval; Delano Joint Union High School District massed band; Delano Union School District pre-band soprano recorders; Cecil Avenue Math and Science Academy Patriot band and color guard; La Zacatecas; and Walmart.

Earning second places were La Mission de Jesus; La Vina Middle School; Allstate Insurance; and Charros los Valenzuela.

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Delano Regional Medical Center and Delano Family Pharmacy are hosting a Community Farmers Market and Health Fair today from 3 to 6 p.m. in front of DRMC’s main entrance.

The event will include free produce and free health screening. No identification is required.

The events are planned the third Thursday of each month on May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15 and Sept. 19.

More information is available by calling Jaime Hernandez, 661-721-5208.

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Although the Delano High School class reunion is billed for classes of 1948, 1949 and 1950, graduates of all classes are welcome, reports chairperson Don Hiett.

The event is Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Delano Elks Lodge with a meal at about 2 p.m. Hiett said that in order to plan for the crowd that people who wish to attend should call him at 661-809-2951 or Nolan Shaffer, 661-345-1503.

The $35 fee will include the lunch, tax, and gratuity.

Another upcoming class reunion is a cruise April 16-19 of 2020 for any class member. This will be the 40th annual event for Delano High’s Class of 1980.

The cruise is from Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico. For information, call travel agent Cecily at 559-433-3030, ext. 112, or toll free to 800-625-5139 in order to book the cruise and gain information. There is a $100 deposit required.

The Class of 1980 reunion is Oct. 10 at the Bakersfield Country Club. Persons may contact Andrea Turnipseed, chairperson, at email atseed@att.net Any person who even started with the Class of 1980 is invited.

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Delano High cheerleaders are seeking public support for its sale of water and 15-month calendars at the Friday, June 7, graduation and for purchase of $10 tri-tip takeout lunches for Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Elks Club. You may buy tickets from any cheerleader or call adviser Carmina Reyes at DHS, 661-720-4282.

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Biggest boosters for Delano High cheerleaders at their Cinco de Mayo bingo booth were Anette Salim and Claribel Gutierrez, who also happen to be chairperson for events of the October Harvest Holidays celebration.

I kidded policeman Mario Nunez at the bingo event because his family was seated in one area and he in another. They may have wanted good luck because two daughters won the bingo prizes.

Speaking of bingo, Mario reported that sometime in late May he hoped that bingo would resume on a Wednesday night at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church’s hall. So be on the lookout for a 6:30 bingo start.

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Two recent deaths reminded me of two of my good friends.

One was 1955 Delano High grad Felix Arroy who was an all-league defensive end for Delano High and whose wife lived maybe a mile away from me in the country while I was in high school.

Another was Arlie Atwood who for years delivered The Bakersfield Californian in the area. He always had a friendly greeting for everyone. I had his older daughter, Sheryl, in my Cecil Avenue School seventh grade class. Later in high school, son John was the catcher we dubbed “Fog Horn” for his loud voice telling other players what their job would be if a ball was hit to them.

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A Delano JobFest is scheduled Thursday, June 13, from 9 a.m. to noon at Cesar E. Chavez High School, 800 Browning Road.

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Almond Tree Middle School students in the migrant education program in the speech and debate area earned second place overall and first in the English category in recent competition.

Dolores Rodriguez, head of the high school district migrant education program, says that the next school year the high school will select from mini competitions in the local schools an all star district team for the Delano region.

The Career Academy summer class for the local district for migrant ed students has a work and study program which will involve 25 to 30 students from among those who have applied. They will be attending the two three-week sessions of summer school.

Businesses interested in involving students in their programs may call Rodriguez at 661-720-4165. She said that Pacific Tire involved a student and later hired the student full-time.

JP Inc. is another of the sponsors.

Gary Girard is a longtime resident of Delano. He can be reached at 661-725-8803.

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