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DELANO RAMBLINGS: High school honors go virtual

Students from the Delano Joint Union High School District and the Delano Union School District are being advised of everything from when and where meals are distributed to what is happening for their graduations.

For the local high schools, all awards will be launched via YouTube channels.

Virtual senior awards, the presentation of scholarships and other awards, were to be given for all three comprehensive high schools on May 7. All school marquees have been displaying the names of all the seniors. Lights for 2020 seniors are also to be on at the schools Fridays at 8:20 p.m. for 20 minutes.

For the high schoolers, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays have been the days and times for distribution of caps and gowns, senior yard signs, checking out laptops and hot spots, turning in athletic gear and paying student body fines.

Virtual graduations are scheduled all at 7 p.m. for Delano Adult School on May 28, Valley High School and Robert F. Kennedy High School on June 3, Cesar Chavez High School on June 4 and Delano High School on June 5.

Videos of graduations in the high school district will be available, including highlight reels of students as they announce the colleges they plan to attend. Students will have the ability to view and download the video links that will be shared via Blackboard Connect text and other social media platforms.

Winter sports awards for Delano High School were to be launched May 11 and for spring sports on May 18. Information on sports awards for other high schools will be released to students on school media.

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In a Directing Change Film Contest, Cesar Chavez senior Paola Garcia gained honorable mention in the San Monte category for her film “Es Megor Buscar Ayuda.”

Chavez senior Jylen Paraiso, for her film “Know the Signs,” earned honorable mention.

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Virtual graduations for middle schools in Delano are planned May 26 for Pioneer School, May 27 for Almond Tree School, May 28 for La Vina School and May 29 for Cecil Avenue School.

The eighth graders may already have received their gowns and yard signs.

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Popeyes is still coming to Delano. A friend had informed me that no activity had been shown in regard to the closing of Trujillo’s at the Cecil Avenue and Princeton Street location, but Henry Mendez, broker for the property, called me to say that in response to a query of him by friend, Abram Herrera, that Popeyes, contrary to what was in a recent Ramblings column, is still on the way. Henry said that groundbreaking is likely before the end of summer.

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Delano High graduate and former athletic great Bill Higgins has died, reports former Delano High teacher and coach Nolan Shaffer, a friend to Higgins. Bill, a 1949 Delano High graduate, was a lineman for the Delano Tigers in football, started for the Valley championship basketball team as a senior and ran track.

Shaffer said that Higgins was a Hanford city policeman for many years before becoming a California Highway Patrol officer until his retirement. At College of the Sequoias, Shaffer played left guard and Higgins right guard on the football team that had Delano’s Calvin Bell as a center.

Higgins’ late father, Charles, was a carpenter in Delano. Younger brother, Don Higgins, a 1954 Delano High graduate, was a doctor locally before moving to the Visalia area. He has also passed away.

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There will be no Junior Livestock Show in October which has been customary for years. That was the report of Ross Hampton, long active in the show, to Ginda Adkins at the Chamber of Commerce. The show is another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, at least for 2020.

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On one of my relatively short walks down 6th Avenue in the morning, one day I ran across Lydia Duran, a Delano High School English instructor. She used to live next door to Henry and Rachel Mendoza, but the Durans (husband Miguel used to be in the local high school district but now I think works at one of the nearby prisons) moved to Tulare and Lydia taught at Mission Oak High School.

The couple then returned to Delano and Lydia to Delano High. One time she told me that at Mission Oak, she had realized that local high schools were further along on instruction to achieve the new state standards. By the way, I had Miguel as a student at Delano High as well as his brother and two sisters.

Another walker I ran across was Chris Rivas. The second time we crossed paths, he stopped me to tell me that his mom, Lucy, had been in the hospital but was back home and being taken care of by her daughters.

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A friend has told me that the “old” First United Methodist Church at the corner of 11th Avenue and Jefferson Street has been sold to the city of Delano and will be torn down.

My friend asked if I knew whether the stained glass windows would be saved, and I wondered if the bricks would be sold. When Delano High’s “Old Main” building was torn down in the early 1950s, my friend said that the bricks were used by industrial arts teacher Ray Hamilton while building his home.

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I am not familiar with PAG Meter, but on the computer I was able to find mentions of two members of Delano High’s boys varsity basketball team who have been honored.

The Tiger hoopsters, though finishing in the second division of the East Yosemite League, did have an outstanding season. In Division 4, they went all the way to the Valley championship game before losing to Kingsburg High.

Then for the state tournament, they were placed in Division 5 where they won games against opponents at home, including Valley Division 5 section champion Fowler, before traveling to Los Angeles-Roosevelt High and losing in their fourth game.

From that Tiger team, PAG Meter tabbed Delano’s junior center, Thomas Perez, as the central section small schools’ “Player of the Year.” Said social media’s notice, “The Tigers had a tremendous year and a big part of it was Perez who got better and better every game.” Perez scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the section title game. For the season he averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Delano High’s Jerrick Alestre and Cesar Chavez High’s Fernando Carranza, a junior, both were named to PAG Meter’s Fabulous 40 all-central section All Stars. Alestre also earned first-team All Star Division 5 honors for Cal Hi sports, representing Delano and Kern County.

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