Kimball’s first freshmen receive diplomas
by Joel Danoy
Jun 07, 2013 | 7444 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kimball High graduation
Kimball High School senior Troy T. Mathew celebrates receiving his diploma during graduation ceremonies at Don Nicholson Stadium on Saturday, June 1.  Mike Pellat/For the Tracy Press
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Make no mistake, the Kimball High School Class of 2013 did it first and made it special.

That’s because the 439 seniors who walked across the graduation stage at Don Nicholson Stadium on Saturday, June 1, were members of the first class to get the full four-year experience as Kimball Jaguars. The school opened in 2009.

Aloukika Shah, associated student body president, used the word “precedent” in her speech to describe what her fellow seniors had achieved.

“For reasons so undeniable and profound, this class in particular has birthed some of the most dynamic student-leaders, activists, citizens, scholars, athletes and trailblazers that this community will even witness,” she said.

Valedictorian Jai Kannan spoke during the ceremony about how his senior classmates were the guinea pigs of a new school, always “testing out new policies” such as block scheduling and running laps in the quad while the football stadium was being constructed.

“We’re the ones who gave Kimball its name,” he said. “The thing that really makes Kimball is the student body. The students in our graduating class are probably the most friendly and united group that the school will see for years to come.”

For Javier Alejandro Tinoco, graduation day had seemed like an unobtainable goal in April. Described by his peers as a trouble-maker “who tangled with students and teachers,” Tinoco returned to Kimball in the spring after attending an alternative school.

“To be here today, it’s almost like a dream because I’ve had so many problems, but now I’m here and I’m going to get my diploma today,” Tinoco said before the ceremony. “I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with the law and being suspended from school, but I overcame it and I’m graduating today with a 4.0 GPA.”

Tinoco leaves for Marine Corps boot camp on Nov. 18. During the ceremony, he received the Kimball High award for determination.

Fellow seniors Nathan Van Katwyk and Kayla Vogel each said waking up Saturday morning was different from any other day.

“I woke up real early, fully energized ready to here,” said Vogel, who is attending California State University, Chico, in the fall. “I can’t help but be sad because you’re leaving, but it’s really exciting to move forward.”

Van Katwyk said, “It’s hard to believe it’s happening.”

“We’re all here and you look around and it’s weird to think you might not see these people again, your friends,” said Van Katwyk, who is attending Brigham Young University in the fall. “It’s not quite real for me, but I’m going to get the chills when that music comes on.”

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or jdanoy@tracypress.com.

Kimball High School Class of 2013

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