Estancia High Eagles look to new horizons as 212 graduates leave the nest
More than 200 Eagles officially left the nest on Thursday, reflecting on their time at Estancia High School and the foundation it laid for the next stage of their journeys during a commencement ceremony at the school’s Jim Scott Stadium.
Graduating seniors waved to loved ones in the audience with enthusiasm as they accepted their diplomas and took seats on the athletic field. This year’s class is the 56th to be celebrated since the school opened in 1965.
In his remarks, Estancia Principal Michael Halt encouraged the 212 students of the Class of 2023 to strive to listen to understand, rather than to respond.
“When you listen to respond, you concentrate on what you will say, how you will sound and how you will be reviewed by others. When we listen to understand, however, we let go of the need to prove ourselves right and instead open our hearts and minds.
“By becoming better listeners we can contribute to a society that is more compassionate, more inclusive and more united.”
Senior James De La O — who was named Orange Coast League Player of the Year in basketball and baseball and plans to play baseball at Long Beach City College — shared with fellow graduates the only thing that makes goals impossible is the fear of failure.
Graduate Makena Ray, who will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next year, recalled how the COVID-19 pandemic upended the traditional high school experience but also helped Estancia students to overcome hardships.
“It’s time to look forward with great anticipation and excitement and hope for an ever brighter future,” she said. “Your time is here — life starts now.”
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