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Rio Americano Graduates Look Forward With Hope

Raiders Class of 2012 receives diplomas at Memorial Auditorium on Thursday.

By Victor Calderon

Rio Americano High School graduates walked across the stage in their kelly green caps and gowns to receive their diplomas on Thursday during a ceremony at Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium.

The graduating class for the Carmichael-area school had about 320 students.

"To get to this point is a success for everybody here," said Rio principal Brian Ginter. "Parents, Rio has prepared your sons and daughters for future success... we congratulate you graduates."

The two-hour ceremony included performances by the Rio Honors Concert Band and jazz band.

"Fellow graduates, we know you're happy to be leaving but the only people happier are your parents," Matthew Cunningham said during a commencement address mixed with humor. "Although it's called college, it's really a hiding place for the terrors of the job market... although nothing will compare with the terrors of Rio's parking lot."

Graduates than walked the stage from Ali Abbas to Elina Yakovlevna Zhuk, although not in alphabetical order. Once they were done, they did the graduation custom of tossing caps into the air.

Afterwards, graduates embraced their family and friends and posed for photos.

"It's so exciting. I can't even explain it," said Macey Peterson, who will attend Boston College in the fall where she will study human development and applied psychology. "I felt like I was playing dress up but once I walked across the stage I knew it was real."

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Were you at Thursday's graduation? Share your thoughts and photos here.

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