Big Bear High School’s Class of 2009 Celebrated in Thursday’s Commencement Ceremony, the 80th for BVUSD

Yesterday afternoon’s commencement ceremony at Big Bear High School was the Bear Valley Unified School District’s 80th high school graduation, and the 23rd from the current school site in Sugarloaf, home to 250 or so seniors from the Class of 2009, including Amelia Hofer and Wesley Neely, two classmates who passed away during their senior year. The 4pm graduation opened with an original song, “The Graduation Blues,” written and sung by senior Eric Carrillo, who was accompanied on guitar by English teacher Mike Harrison. The procession of the red, black and white was led by Principal Mike Ghelber and Senior Class Advisor Lisa Schour and, among the students, the Class of 2009’s three valedictorians Eric Nicolai, Scott Reynolds and Amanda Fisch. BVUSD’s outgoing Superintendent Carole Ferraud, mother of senior and recent prom queen Andi, addressed the hundreds on the BBHS field, saying, “Here’s some advice spoken from a mother: If at first you don’t succeed, go back and do it like your mother told you.” Prior to the commencement address by retiring teacher Claudia St. James, Ghelber asked graduates who’d been in Big Bear since kindergarten to stand—this BBHS tradition easily included 1/3 of the class and, following that, parents who’d graduated from BBHS took their turn to stand and be recognized. “On Your Own” teacher St. James who, with fellow retiree Nancy Acton-Caldwell was recognized for their combined 50 years with the district, addressed the students who’d nominated her to speak. “The only thing of value we can leave behind is love,” St. James expressed, “and the only thing stopping us from loving is ourselves.” The Class of 2009, whose individual parting words were read by class-selected teachers Mike Benson, Joe Bradley, Heidi Carrillo, Mike Harrison and Brad Rice, gifted BBHS with $1,000 toward beautification efforts in the quad—and some $800+ to the incoming freshmen of the Class of 2013. The exciting and emotional ceremony, and four years of learning and growing at Big Bear High School, was perhaps best summed up by valedictorian Scott Reynolds, who said, “We didn’t just finish, we succeeded.”

Valedictorians Eric Nicolai and Scott Reynolds led the procession of the Class of 2009, which included 250 or so graduates of Big Bear High.

Valedictorians Eric Nicolai and Scott Reynolds led the procession of the Class of 2009, which included 250 or so graduates of Big Bear High.

Jessica Brown, who on Tuesday sang at the BBMS promotion, sang "Do I Make You Proud," accompanied by teacher Mike Harrison.

Jessica Brown, who on Tuesday sang at the BBMS promotion, sang "Do I Make You Proud," accompanied by teacher Mike Harrison.

The Class of 2009 was the 80th to graduate from BVUSD.

The Class of 2009 was the 80th to graduate from BVUSD.

Valedictorian Amanda Fisch was one of three for this year's senior class.

Valedictorian Amanda Fisch was one of three for this year's senior class.

Congratulations, Bears, for what you have achieved at "Our House."

Congratulations, Bears, for what you have achieved at "Our House."

Yesterday afternoon’s commencement ceremony at Big Bear High School was the Bear Valley Unified School District’s 80th high school graduation, and the 23rd from the current school site in Sugarloaf, home to 250 or so seniors from the Class of 2009, including Amelia Hofer and Wesley Neely, two classmates who passed away during their senior year. The 4pm graduation opened with an original song, “The Graduation Blues,” written and sung by senior Eric Carrillo, who was accompanied on guitar by English teacher Mike Harrison. The procession of the red, black and white was led by Principal Mike Ghelber and Senior Class Advisor Lisa Schour and, among the students, the Class of 2009’s three valedictorians Eric Nicolai, Scott Reynolds and Amanda Fisch. BVUSD’s outgoing Superintendent Carole Ferraud, mother of senior and recent prom queen Andi, addressed the hundreds on the BBHS field, saying, “Here’s some advice spoken from a mother: If at first you don’t succeed, go back and do it like your mother told you.” Prior to the commencement address by retiring teacher Claudia St. James, Ghelber asked graduates who’d been in Big Bear since kindergarten to stand—this BBHS tradition easily included 1/3 of the class and, following that, parents who’d graduated from BBHS took their turn to stand and be recognized. “On Your Own” teacher St. James who, with fellow retiree Nancy Acton-Caldwell was recognized for their combined 50 years with the district, addressed the students who’d nominated her to speak. “The only thing of value we can leave behind is love,” St. James expressed, “and the only thing stopping us from loving is ourselves.” The Class of 2009, whose individual parting words were read by class-selected teachers Mike Benson, Joe Bradley, Heidi Carrillo, Mike Harrison and Brad Rice, gifted BBHS with $1,000 toward beautification efforts in the quad—and some $800+ to the incoming freshmen of the Class of 2013. The exciting and emotional ceremony, and four years of learning and growing at Big Bear High School, was perhaps best summed up by valedictorian Scott Reynolds, who said, “We didn’t just finish, we succeeded.”

[caption id="attachment_5980" align="alignleft" width="275" caption="Valedictorians Eric Nicolai and Scott Reynolds led the procession of the Class of 2009, which included 250 or so graduates of Big Bear High."]Valedictorians Eric Nicolai and Scott Reynolds led the procession of the Class of 2009, which included 250 or so graduates of Big Bear High.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5981" align="alignleft" width="275" caption="Jessica Brown, who on Tuesday sang at the BBMS promotion, sang "Do I Make You Proud," accompanied by teacher Mike Harrison."]Jessica Brown, who on Tuesday sang at the BBMS promotion, sang "Do I Make You Proud," accompanied by teacher Mike Harrison.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5973" align="alignleft" width="575" caption="The Class of 2009 was the 80th to graduate from BVUSD."]The Class of 2009 was the 80th to graduate from BVUSD.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5974" align="alignleft" width="575" caption="Valedictorian Amanda Fisch was one of three for this year's senior class."]Valedictorian Amanda Fisch was one of three for this year's senior class.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5975" align="alignleft" width="575" caption="Congratulations, Bears, for what you have achieved at "Our House.""]Congratulations, Bears, for what you have achieved at "Our House."[/caption]

Related posts:

  1. Community Gifts Over $50,000 in Scholarships to Big Bear High School’s Class of 2009
  2. Coach Jack Oksnee–A Bear Through and Through–to Be Celebrated at Big Bear High School on Saturday
  3. Big Bear High School Class of 2012 Graduates!