Plumas Charter School graduates 30 across county

Plumas Charter School Class of 2013 graduates pose for the camera under the gazebo at the county fairgrounds June 7. Thirty graduates from Chester, Portola and Quincy high schools, along with graduates from Indian Valley Academy, converged on the fairgrounds for the charter school’s commencement ceremony. Photos by Laura Beaton

Laura Beaton
Staff Writer

“The world is just the canvas for our imagination,” said Plumas Charter School graduating senior Sky Van Zandt. She went on to tell her fellow classmates at the June 7 commencement that each person has control over the colors and designs they choose to put on their own canvas.

Van Zandt is one of the Greenville charter school students who merged into Indian Valley Academy at the beginning of the school year.

Sue Weber, director of IVA, told the audience of about 200 that it wasn’t easy for those students to suddenly have their world turned upside after the partnership between IVA and Greenville High School changed the nature of the charter school’s secondary program for Greenville students.

Weber said that the journey the students took to graduate is amazing, and reassures her that all of those students will be fine in life.

Of the charter school’s 30 graduating seniors, 24 were present to walk down the aisle and receive their diplomas.

In addition to Van Zandt, there were four other student speakers: Jedediah Richard from Greenville, Tyler Mooney representing Chester, and Joanna Vanderson and Alex Mierlot of Quincy. 

Portola senior Tenaya Wood received a $500 scholarship from the Soroptimists of Portola and Quincy — the first time ever the Soroptimists have awarded a scholarship to a charter school student.

Sky Van Zandt was awarded a $750 “surprise” ACT scholarship from drama teacher Dawnette Dryer. Dryer lauded Van Zandt for the tremendous amount of work she did behind the scenes for the performance of “Arsenic and Old Lace” and other productions.

Quincy graduate Nathan Retallack organized a volunteer ensemble of Quincy High students to play “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates proceeded into Tulsa Scott Pavilion at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds.

After each student was called up to the podium to receive his or her diploma from his or her main teacher, the ceremony wrapped up with closing remarks from Weber and Plumas Charter School Executive Director Taletha Washburn.

“There’s no such thing as failure,” Washburn told the graduating class of 2013. She said the teachers at Plumas Charter believe in them and will always be there for them.

A cupcake reception concluded the evening’s ceremonies, the first high school graduation this year in the county. 

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