Caps and gowns galore: 2425 get diplomas from area high schools

Carondelet High grads, photo courtesy Carondelet High School.

Caps and gowns galore: 2425 get diplomas from area high schools

Pioneer Grad Ads
Grad Ads for 2019

Over the past few weeks 2425 local students from the Class of 2019 collected a diploma for completing their high school requirements and now look towards college, the military, trade school, a gap year or getting a job as they begin the next phase of their life.

Carondelet 200 young women graduated at the end of May in a campus ceremony and are headed to 84 different two- and four-year colleges in the fall.

Clayton Valley Charter The area’s largest graduating class—465—comes from CVCHS, which reported a 98% college rate for its senior class at the public charter high school.

Concord 370 CHS seniors walked for their diplomas at the Concord Pavilion, where the majority of commencement exercises were held.

Contra Costa School of Performing Arts The small public charter school’s inaugural graduating class was 16 as the school concluded its third year with a senior class that began there in 10th grade. The historic graduation ceremony was held in the Hofmann Theater at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. The school anticipates next year’s graduating class will be about double in size with an annual class of about 100 seniors projected in the years to come.

De La Salle The Concord all-boys parochial school had 246 graduates at its ceremony at the school.

MDUSD Bridge Program is for individuals aged 18-22 years with disabilities who have finished high school. The program supports the 26 student grads’ transition to adult living.

MDUSD Adult Education honored its 37 high school graduates and 31 who earned high school equivalencies at a ceremony at Loma Vista Adult Center.

Mt. Diablo The area’s oldest high school was the first in the district to hold its commencement ceremony this year for its 236 graduating seniors on May 31.

Northgate 362 seniors earned their NHS diplomas.

Small Continuation High Schools in MDUSD had a total of 80 graduates from Crossroads (16), Gateway (14) and Summit (50) high schools.

Olympic had 103 graduates in its Class of 2019.

Caps and gowns galore: 2425 get diplomas from area high schools
Carondelet High grads, photo courtesy Carondelet High School.

Ygnacio Valley awarded 253 YVHS grads their diplomas.

The other MDUSD high school, College Park in Pleasant Hill, had the district’s largest senior class of 442 (not included in the local graduates total).

The district said that 22 of its nearly 1900 graduates were enrolled in the College Now program, enabling MDUSD juniors and seniors to take college classes at Diablo Valley College to meet high school graduation requirements while concurrently earning college credits.

Concord High’s Odyssey of the Mind team enjoys trip to Worlds

The Concord High Odyssey of the Mind team returned from the World Finals Competition last month at Michigan State University “with a new outlook on creativity,” says advisor Sheila Bergum. They placed 16th in their problem and division from a field of 55 teams, “an amazing accomplishment for the team’s first trip to the World Finals.”

Bergum adds, “But most important was the incredible creative experience that the tournament provided, as they interacted with groups of students from all over the world.”

The local students were one of 900 teams who competed in the three-day competition. Concord’s team, which won San Francisco Bay Region and NorCal State competitions to qualify for Worlds, consisted of senior Aketzali Perez, juniors Neco Tejada and Rolando Manalac and a trio of sophomores, Brian Velasquez, Evie Robello and Laila Navone.

The CHS team plans to begin a new year of problem-solving when they return to school in September with the exception of Perez, who is off to college.

MDUSD holds June 24 hearing seeking input on district elections

MDUSD invites families, students, community and business leaders as well as other stakeholders to attend a public hearing that will provide the public an opportunity to provide input on the composition of trustee areas for by-trustee area elections.

The district is moving to a by-trustee area system in alignment with the California Voting Rights Act, discouraging district-based elections. The city of Concord made the same conversion for city council elections last year.

The 7 p.m. hearing next Monday, June 24, is part of a statutory process for establishing a by-trustee area elections system. Under this model, MDUSD will be organized into five individual trustee areas. Previously, trustees were elected by voters of the entire district. In the new process, trustees will be elected by the voters living within the trustee’s respective area.

Input gathered from the public during hearings will help determine the criteria used by a demographer in drafting the new trustee area maps.

The meeting is at the Concord district offices at 1936 Carlotta Dr. in the main boardroom. Translations from English to Spanish and American Sign Language will be available upon request.

Information about the process is available at

Kendall Albert wins Peace & Justice Center essay contest


Kendall Albert wins Peace & Justice Center essay contest
Kendall Albert

Clayton Valley Charter sophomore Kendall Albert was awarded first place in Creative Writing in the high school division of the 21st Art and Writing Challenge Awards hosted by the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Lafayette.

The event is organized to encourage and support local youth to address issues concerning peace and social justice.

This year the center received submissions from 19 high schools and 12 middle schools from throughout Contra Costa County.

Margli Auclair, the center’s executive director, said, “This year’s topic/prompt was ‘Cultivating A Peaceful World: Visions for the Future.’ When you dream of liberation, what does that look like to you?  What are your hopes for a more peaceful future?  How do you see communities thriving? How do we get there?”

Albert was the only winner from area schools for her essay “In Our Hands.”