Hemet High School commencement draws thousands to the Ramona Bowl

    Hemet High School 2019 graduating senior Shravan Patel gives the valedictorian address to his fellow graduates at the school’s commencement, urging them to continue their education. Tony Ault photo

    The Ramona Bowl in Hemet was filled with hundreds of proud parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles with armfuls of flowers and gifts Friday, May 31, as the Hemet High School graduates took their seats wearing bright red caps and gowns.

    The long processional, bordered by the 2019 Daisy Chain Escorts and the Hemet High School Symphonic and Concert Band playing the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance,” slowly made its way to the front seats of the amphitheater. Whistles and cheers of parents and family friends echoed through the bowl as their favorite candidates walked by bedecked with their honor scarves and badges and many with money-laden leis. Those in the stands gave thumbs-up, waved their hands and sent loud shouts of encouragement to the graduates.

    Graduate Jorlynn Puckett sang the national anthem and senior class representatives Abigail Carl and Haleigh Wicks, hands over their hearts, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Following the commencement address by valedictorian Shravan Patel and salutatorian Kali Probal and the class graduation song “Home” by Phillip Phillips which was sung by Gabriella LaLanne and Skye Morikawa, Hemet Unified School District Superintendent Christi Barrett gave her address congratulating the Hemet High School class of 2019.

    Hemet High School Principal Emily Shaw presented the graduating class to the audience, the assistant superintendents and school board members.

    The Hemet High School class of 2019 was one of the largest award-winning classes in the school’s history. They received their diplomas and accolades from their teachers and friends. As they shook hands with the principal and board members, some graduates raised their arms and shouted for joy. Wearing big grins as they held up their diplomas to show their parents and walked back to their seats.

    Finally the long-awaited announcement came.

    “You may move your mortarboard tassels from right to left,” school officials said. The action signifies that 12 years of education had been successfully concluded and the students were ready to begin their adult life journey, continuing on to university, college, trade school, the military or a chosen profession.

    Mortarboards and white roses were thrown up into the air. Poppers blew out paper streamers. Screams and shouts were heard as the graduates grabbed their closest friends for hugs and handshakes, kisses and high fives.

    Parents made their way through the crowds to the bowl lawn and found their graduates to continue the celebration.

    Congratulations from the Valley News to the Hemet High School’s graduating class of 2019! Remember, “Once a Bulldog, Always a Bulldog.”

    Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.