Co-Valedictorian Isabel Mondragon said, “It’s going to be hard to leave middle school behind and move on to high school, but we all have lots of memories of our time here.” She added that it is true that middle school is over, but, she said, “We still have many more years ahead of us. We have high school, then college, and after that we get to choose a career. We have the chance to live our dreams of becoming astronauts, firefighters, teachers, and doctors. Or we could live our dreams of becoming famous and traveling the world. However, to make our dreams come true, we have to set goals for ourselves, and to accomplish those goals we will have to work long and hard. It might not be easy but it will all be worth it in the end. We are all capable of doing great things and with determination and hard work we can do more than accomplish our dreams.” Mondragon also thanked parents and the Isbell staff for their support.
Co-Valedictorian Lauren Alamillo said they all have changed one way or another during their time in Isbell. “In sixth grade, we went from being the oldest kids in elementary school to being the youngest kids at Isbell,” she added. “We were all excited and some, a little nervous, to be moving on to something bigger. We had all of our classes on the bottom floor, and some of us were curious enough to travel upstairs just to find out that the top floor was almost exactly the same as the bottom, except that it took a little more energy to get there. We met new people and made new friends. In seventh grade, we were no longer referred to as the “annoying little six graders. We had moved on from playing tag during nutrition and lunch. Then in eighth grade, we were once again the oldest kids in the school. We were all got a little annoyed at least once when our teachers made the “How Much Harder High School Would Be” speech, even though they were just warning us about what is probably true.”
She encouraged her classmates to set goals for themselves in the future and to try new things. “Whether it’s trying out for a sport you’ve never played before or joining a club even though your friends don’t want to. You will find out what you are interested in during high school, and you will learn more about yourselves. You will meet new people, and your friends might change, even though you swear that they won’t,” she said.
Isbell Principal George Alessi closed the ceremony, saying, “Three weeks ago, my daughter graduated from Cal State Northridge. At the end of the ceremony, the Dean of Students asked all students to stand, and then said something I want you all to hear, she said...’From this day forward, you will be recognized as highly educated men and women.’ We don’t tell you that at Promotion, you are still on your journey, you will not hear that at High School graduation, you are still on your journey. You will all hear that at College graduation and you are all going to graduate from college. ‘Highly educated men and women.’ That is your goal. And with that, you will bring honor to you and your families.”