Thirteen years of primary education will officially come to a close for the Class of 2015 this Friday night at the Oakdale High Corral. The 7 p.m. graduation ceremony will be their final moments on the field as Mustangs, only to then become alumni of the school.
The excitement for this graduating class of nearly 350 will come upon receipt of their diplomas, which will signify the closing of one chapter and start of yet another. Leading the commencement ceremony will be 2015 Valedictorian Jennifer Guzman and Salutatorian Emilie Crossman. Two young women, who seemingly not only have a handle on their education, but their future goals as well.
Guzman will attend California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo in the fall majoring in Biology. The youngest of three children has her eyes set on med school, with aspirations of being a pediatrician.
“I was really sick when I was little,” Guzman shared, “and through the different volunteering things that I’ve done I realize I love interacting with kids.”
Guzman shared that from Kindergarten until about second grade, she experienced kidney problems. Problems which required ultra sounds, catheters and routine trips to UCSF for monitoring.
“My kidneys weren’t developing with the rest of my body,” Guzman said. “They were causing urinary tract reflux.
“Going into pediatrics would just combine how much I love math and science, with how much I love and want to help kids,” she said.
Crossman will attend University of California, Los Angeles this fall. She will enter as a pre-Political Science major, but has her eyes set ultimately on law school.
“My goal is to go to law school,” Crossman said, “so I want something that’s going to set me apart from other people applying to law school.”
Crossman has done her homework in regards to her future profession, easily able to discuss alternatives of civil law, criminal law, as well as working with the mentally disabled.
“I’ve been told so many different things,” she said. “I’ve talked to a lot district attorneys and different civil lawyers; it just depends on what I like best.
“I’m a very black and white person,” Crossman added. “I like to fight for what I believe in. I’m one of the people that when I want things to change, I’m willing to do something to make a change. What I would see myself doing, is being a judge in the future. Going from like an attorney, to a judge. I might even end up in politics, I don’t know. I don’t have it all really clear.”
The two young women have spent their scholastic career busy both in the classroom as well as involved with clubs and athletics.
Despite the early health complications Guzman has excelled as an athlete in both volleyball and track and field.
“Jen was extremely successful in both sports,” Crossman stated, “so make sure you don’t leave that out. She’s known for being successful for both her sports.”
The statement not only demonstrates Crossman’s comfort with being outspoken, but highlights the special bond shared by the two young women as well. They have a friendship, which began in elementary school and will now continue into college.
While Guzman is the youngest of three, Crossman is the oldest in her family. Both young women equally share a bit of natural nervousness and cold feet and the notion of leaving their close knit families. Each recognizes that their perspective campuses are just close enough to visit one another while away from home.
“We have Amtraks which connect our campuses,” Guzman said. “We have this all figured out.”
“I was tired of being the big fish in the little pond,” Crossman said of the transition from the Cowboy Capital to the Los Angeles hustle. “I wanted to test myself I think a little bit.
“We can be successful in this environment,” she continued, “but can we be successful in an environment with people who have been just as successful? That’s my real question. I’m testing myself. I’ve always been up for challenge, so we’ll see.”
“You’re going to do great at UCLA,” Guzman stated to Crossman. “I don’t doubt you for a second.”
As for their remarks to fellow graduates during commencement on Friday, as of press time, the Lady Mustang twosome was still kicking around their options. Individual speeches, a shared speech or a stand-up comedy approach, they truly don’t know just yet. One thing, however, will be for certain; it will be a memorable send off for the OHS Class of 2015.
In addition to Guzman and Crossman being acknowledged as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian during the 47th Annual Senior Scholarship Night on Tuesday, May 5, another 140 OHS seniors were honored with scholarships. A total of $55,575 was awarded to students for their academic achievements, sports accomplishments, community club participation and college major educational endeavors. The following is the list of the second half of recipients with last names starting with M through Z. Students with last names starting with A-L were featured in the May 13 issue of The Oakdale Leader.
Stephani MacLeod: Music Boosters.
Dante Martin: Clarence Royse Memorial; Oakdale New Car Dealers; Stanley Colombo Memorial; Oakdale High School CSF.
Carson McCarty: Mark Dickens Hustle for the Future; Alumni & Community.
Jordyn McDougal: Alumni & Community.
Patrick McIntyre: John Michael Fletcher Memorial.
Alida McKeon: Barbara A. Wikoff Memorial Music; Heidi Brunk Music; Live Your Dream; Music Boosters.
Connor McQueary: School Board “Future Education”.
Guadalupe Mejia: Oakdale Teachers Association; The Dr. Julius C. Manrique; The Susanne Leslie Future Educator.
Dominic Miranda: Phyllis Bordona Honorary Service Award.
Rocio Montejano: Alumni &Community.
Virginia Montes: Alumni & Community.
Abriana Munoz: Academic Booster Essay.
Bryce Neal: Alumni & Community.
Anna Ogden: Diane Yuskiw Memorial.
Jasmin Olvera: Alumni & Community.
Caylie O’Neal: Oak Youth Softball Association- OHS Mustang Softball.
Dominic Orvis: Albert Rossini LTP; Coach Hogwood Memorial; Cowboy Museum Ag.; G.W. Wingo Memorial; Lowell C. “DOC” Dorius Fund; Oakdale Chamber of Commerce.
Rachelle Pabalan: Jacqueline Riise Honorary; Leo Volz Memorial; Oakdale High School “S” Club/ Soroptimist of Oakdale; Oakdale High School CSF; Oakdale Women’s Club; Oakdale Chamber of Commerce.
Octavio Padilla: Joanne Bettencourt Memorial Tennis; Briane Irvine Memorial Sportsmanship.
Marian Joy Pagaduan: Dr. and Mrs. Jacob S. Barber Future Healthcare Provider; GSA/ Delta Blook Bank Service; Oak Valley Hospital Volunteer.
Danika Parker: Alfonso Pogolotti Memorial.
Meilia Perez: Alumni & Community.
Stephen Perreira: OHS General Continuing Education.
Anna Perrone: Oakdale Chamber of Commerce; OHS Sports Booster Club; Academic Booster Essays.
Emily Pinheiro: Alumni & Community.
Megan Reali: Get AMPed Committed to Health and Fitness; Jamie Charles Memorial; Kim Stogdell Memorial; Oak Youth Softball Association- OHS Mustang Softball Scholarship; Oakdale High School Sports Booster Club; Oakdale Lions Club; Sierra View Elementary School “Former Student”; Academic Booster Essay; Academic Booster Essay in Memory of Kim.
Kyle Richter: Oakdale Realtors.
Taylor Rios: David A., MD; J.O. Gossett Memorial.
Alyssa Rivera: Alumni & Community.
Megan Rivera: Cowboy Museum Ag; Don Hendricks Memorial FFA.
Alondra Rodriguez: Emmalene “Em” Rippe Memorial; Valley Home Parent-Teacher Club.
Jorge Rodriguez: Alumni & Community.
Christopher Roek: Knights Ferry Parent-Teacher Club.
Steve Rose: Oakdale Sunrise Rotary Vocational.
Valerie Saldana: Alumni & Community.
Tayla Salaina-Bannister: Dr. Thomas A. Dooley, Council #5303; Emmalene “Em” Rippe Memorial.
Amanda Sanchez: Alumni & Community.
Kaitlyn Schultz: Oakdale Chamber of Commerce; Oakdale Women’s Club; Kim Stogdell Memorial; Oakdale AAUW.
Logan Schultz: Fred I. Abbott Memorial.
Christopher Silva: Ferrarese’s Delicatessen.
Hailee Singleton: CSEA, Chapter #830; Violet Drew Memorial.
McKenzie Smart: Alumni & Community.
Reed Snyder: Music Boosters.
Connie Speer: Ione Corrigan Memorial; Steve Perigen Memorial.
Jaycee Spence: Cowboy Museum Ag; Oakdale Teachers Association.
Natalie Spilman: Music Boosters.
Jenelle Stastny: Alumni & Community.
Shelby Stender: A. Dale Lacky/ CSEA Scholar Athlete; Get AMPed Committed to Health and Fitness; Oak Valley Community Bank Business Major; OHS Sports Booster Club; Valley Oak League Scholar Athlete Award; VOL Scholar Athlete Award; Academic Booster Essays.
Dalton Steward: Sierra View Elementary School “Former Student”; Antwan Moore Memorial; Jim Cook Memorial Football and Mustang Character Award; OHS Sports Booster Club; Stanley Colombo Memorial.
Emily Stolken: Cathleen Janssen Jaroch Memorial.
Sydney Sudaria: J.O. Gossett Memorial.
Amanda Sulhoff: Alumni & Community.
Markie Taylor: Alumni & Community.
Denise Thompson: Bill Henley Memorial 4-H/ FFA; Jamie Charles Memorial; OHS Sports Booster Club; Orange Blossom 4-H Club; Stanislaus County Hi 4-H; Stanislaus County 4-H Leader Council Scholarship; Stanislaus County 4-H bob Dean Memorial Scholarship; Valley Home Parent-Teacher Club.
Summer Thompson: Weichert/Hawkins Prize.
Alexis Tidball: Emmalene “Em” Rippe Memorial; OHS Sports Booster Club; Oakdale Lions Club.
Frank Trent: Ball Metal Food Container LLC; Emmalene “Em” Rippe Memorial; Mark Ulrich Memorial; OHS Sports Booster Club; Oakdale Realtors; Wiley Pinkerton Memorial.
Ashleigh VandenBosch: Alumni & Community.
Jazmine Velazquez: Stanley Colombo Memorial.
Dalila Verduzco: Clarence Royce Memoria; Wiley Pinkerton Memorial.
Samuel Walker: Alumni & Community; Oakdale Realtors.
Bridget Wallimann: Alumni & Community.
MacKenzie Weiglein: Troy Robinson Athletic Memorial.
Kendra Whorton: OHS Volleyball Dedication.
Amber Williams: Ione Corrigan Memorial.
Amanda Wilson: Alumni & Community.
Samantha Wolfe: Alumni & Community.
Mabel Wong: Music Boosters; Oakdale Lions Club; Oakdale Women’s Club.
Daniel Wright: Alumni & Community.