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Published June 18th, 2014
Three Cheers for the Grads!
Photos Gint Federas

Last Friday evening was busy in Lamorinda, as the Acalanes Union High School District held near-simultaneous on-campus graduations. The students who started kindergarten just weeks before 9-11 are now leaving high school. District wide, 1,311 students receive diplomas. Graduating seniors (more than 300 per school), plus faculty, family and friends gathered at their respective stadiums to don school colors one last time. Pomp and Circumstance sounded simultaneously for the Campolindo Cougars and Miramonte Matadors at 5:30 p.m. The Acalanes Dons marched at 6 p.m.
Students will launch their post-secondary careers from sites as close as Diablo Valley College and as far away as Alaska, Canada and the United Kingdom. One Miramonte High School graduate will join the United States Naval Academy's class of 2018. An Acalanes High School graduate will attend Vallejo's California Maritime Academy. Although each high school is a California Distinguished School, none of them had a valedictorian - AUHSD does not rank its students.
Graduates, however, were recognized for their achievements as National Merit and California Scholarship Federation Scholars. "Ninety-five percent of our [class of 2014] students are college bound," said Acalanes High School College and Career Center's advisor Joan Karr, with most (72 percent) starting at four year colleges. One third of AHS students will attend college out of state; the number rises to 45 percent at Miramonte.
Popular U.C. choices for Miramonte grads within California were the Berkeley and Davis campuses, said Associate Principal Michael McAlister, as were Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Sonoma State universities. "Sports-wise, there have been a lot of successes too," said Campolindo High School Associate Principal Sharon Bartlett, mentioning athletic scholarships in golf, swimming and water polo for their students. After the formal ceremonies, students attended grad parties hosted by their school's parent clubs.
The event planning for Campolindo's class of 2014 began in earnest last September. For Judy Rowland, mother of graduating senior Jonathan Rowland, working at grad night afforded her "one last time" to see all her son's classmates together. "I've known many of these kids since preschool," she said.

Grad Night Facts and Figures

Acalanes High School "Dons"
 School colors: blue and white
 Student population: 1,298
 Graduating seniors: 327
California Scholarship Federation 54
National Merit Scholar commendations: 20
National Merit Scholar finalists: 4
Campolindo High School "Cougars"
 School colors: red and blue
 Student population: 1,232
 Graduating seniors: 306
California Scholarship Federation: 32
National Merit Scholar commendations: 22
National Merit Scholar finalists: 13
Miramonte High School "Matadors"
 School colors: green and white
 Student population: 1,122
 Graduating seniors: 301
California Scholarship Federation: 65
National Merit Scholar finalists: 6

Ashlee Lyall's hat says it all... Photos Cathy Dausman
Destination college!
From left: Campolindo High School grads Tori Kallerud, Matt Klein, Annika Jensen and Matt LaDrech.

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