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Nipomo High School holds its 20th annual graduation ceremony on June 7, 2024. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

NIPOMO, Calif. – Nipomo High School celebrated the Class of 2024 during its graduation ceremony Friday evening.

Held in the school’s athletic stadium, the ceremony featured 204 seniors in cardinal-colored gowns receiving their diplomas from principal John Denno.

During the ceremony, Denno thanked parents and guardians for extending their trust to the school’s “extraordinary staff and outstanding teachers,” who he said are committted to supporting students growth and development from adolescence into adulthood.

“You sent your daughters and sons to our schools with the faith that our staff, in partnership with you and our entire community, would prepare your children for their future,” said Denno. “Tonight we celebrate a journey that didn’t start four years ago, but 13 years in local kindergarten classrooms throughout our community. As parents, many of you have extended your trust to the elementary schools in the Nipomo community, most of you entrusted Mesa Middle School and all of you placed your faith in us here at Nipomo High School.”

During his speech, Denno announced this year’s group of graduates was the strongest academic achieving class in the history of the school. He listed a number of significant accomplishments the class earned, including:

Over 74% of this year’s graduating class have challenged themselves having taken one or more college level classes through advanced placement or dual enrollment coursework.

64% have met the requirements to be considered “prepared” for College and Career Readiness by the State of California.

58% demonstrated proficiency in college preparatory coursework that educates each graduate for the complex and rigorous careers of the future.

Over 59% completed a Career Technical Education Pathway that exposes and equips them for well paying occupations that serve as the backbone of our regional economy.

Many of the graduates said the ceremony was bittersweet, since it combined many emotions, including excitement about the future, mixed with nostalgia about the past, especially knowing this would mark the end of their time together as a class.

“We’re very all over the place,” said graduate Lily Starr, speaking about her classmates. “I feel like there’s a lot of different, separate friend groups but once you put us all together, we’re all able to get along and be very close friends and have good laughs.”

“It’s a great class,” said graduate Rowan Horton. “We’ve known each other for a long time, and, we’re finishing strong, It’s exciting because it’s a lot of opportunities awaiting and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

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