Thousands cheer for Del Oro ceremony

By: Martha Garcia, Gold Country News Service
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LOOMIS — Threats of rain Saturday morning couldn’t keep family and friends away from Del Oro High School graduation ceremonies, held outdoors at Golden Eagle Stadium in Loomis. Under patchy clouds and a refreshing temperature of 63 degrees, they came by the thousands to cheer on the 371 graduates during the school’s 49th annual commencement exercises. Principal Bob Christiansen even mocked weather forecasters. “What rain?” he asked, declaring, to applause, that the Class of 2009 was blessed to have such perfect weather for its special day. Christiansen, who will retire July 1, spoke of the “unique personalities” of the class members. He said they included “traditionalists, free thinkers, non-conformists, risk takers,” along with the “pretty laid back.” “This class is filled with many outstanding young men and women whose warm human spirit not only stands out, it reaches out,” he said. Class Valedictorian Kimberly Zilles, who earned the highest-weighted grade-point average in the class, told fellow graduates that as seniors they belonged “to something far greater” than themselves. She also reminded them that the path toward their dreams would hold more uncertainty as they faced “another first day of freshman year” in college or their first day at a full-time job. Other speakers included Jeff Tooker, the assistant principal who is leaving his alma mater to take a position as an assistant principal with the Placer Union School District. – Gold Country News Services’ Joyia Emard contributed to this story.