With record temperatures starting to top the century mark, parents came prepared to the outdoor graduation at Madera High's Memorial Stadium with bottles of drinking water. However at Albertson's direction, Madera Unified Security confiscated everyone's water at the gate. Yet the school did provided bottles of water free of charge to Madera Unified board members and district employees. Of course bottled water was for sale to parents and visitors in the snack bar.
Before the students entered the stadium for their graduation, local law enforcement conducted a pat-down search of each graduate for illegal contraband like beach balls, cell phones or cameras. However a few beach balls did get through and when district employees snatched them from the air the capacity crowd loudly booed. In fact during the introduction of district staff and board members, Dr. Anthony Monreal received noticeable boos from the spectators and board member Lynn Cogdill received the largest applause.
Student speakers Bailey Britton, Brittany Palacios, Lauren Brown and Torrin Greathouse spoke to the crowd and Dr. Monreal delivered a power speech about the graduates future journey towards success. Eighteen students were named valedictorians, while Madera South had thirty the night before. This sort of put into perspective Albertson's bragging about the Coyotes win on the football field at the Battle for Stadium Road against the Stallions.
After graduation, students made their way back to the campus for the California Highway Patrol's Sober Graduation for dancing, casino games and prizes. For the fifth year in a row, no car was given away at the end of the night and only a handful of students stayed for the duration of the party.
All Photos Copyright 2013 by Big Valley News & Photo