As 2020 began, the Seniors of Weston Ranch High School started their countdown to Commencement. They were in the final months of four long yet glorious years of high school. They were making plans for after high school. They were getting ready for Senior things: Prom, Grad Night, Senior Sunrise/Sunset, walking to get their diplomas in front of their families and friends, and the parties…everything a typical high school senior sets their sights on once they step onto the campus as a freshman.
But, a funny thing happened on the way to May 28th: the world was hit with a hard to understand tragedy, and life was put on hold. And for our seniors, the plans they were making came crashing down. Imagine the rewards you worked hard to achieve were suddenly unavailable. Now imagine that as a senior in high school. It’s tough. It’s sad. It’s unfair.
However, life does go on. And while it’s hard to carry on sometimes, you do what you can and hope there is a silver lining in the dark clouds that hang over all of us right now.
And on Tuesday, April 21st, the clouds of uncertainty parted for a beautiful moment.
Seniors Sabrina Ton and Brittany Vang received the annual Valedictorian and Salutatorian honors for the Class of 2020. The class Valedictorian is the student who has the highest rank in a graduating class. The class Salutatorian is the student who ranks second behind the Valedictorian. To help honor the both of them and show both of them they are appreciated and valued, Principal Troy Fast gathered his administration team, counselors, and teachers and went out to Ton’s and Vang’s homes to present their awards. In a grand but brief ceremony, each student, surrounded by their families, received their certificates, flowers, and listened to a few very poignant letters written by some of their teachers.
Sabrina Ton is this year’s Valedictorian. If ever there was a student destined for this honor, it was Ton. As the crowd gathered around Sabrina, we learned how dedicated, driven, friendly, and compassionate she is. She set her sights on being Valedictorian during her first week of school. As a freshman, she knew what she wanted, and then when out and did it.
“Sabrina came to see me after school and asked me ‘How do I become Valedictorian?'”, said her counselor Daisy Carmona. “Fast forward to today, and here you are, Sabrina! Your hard work and perseverance paid off! I am so proud of you and wish you the best at UOP!”
What does that say about the dedication? What does that say about the students we have here at Weston Ranch? What does that say about goals and dreams? In the case of Ton, she exemplifies just what dreams a person can achieve if they believe.
“She is a rockstar,” added Ms. Baptista, one of Ton’s teachers these past four years. “She is, by far, the most tenacious and dedicated student that I have ever taught. Words cannot express the honor that is has been to be not only your teacher but also your club adviser.”
Some students you just know will be successful. Some students you just know will be great. Sabrina Ton is both, and we congratulate and celebrate her today.
Brittany Vang is this year’s Salutatorian. While this honor technically means she was second place, the award in no way means Vang is second to anyone. From academics to campus involvement to clubs, Vang excelled. Like Sabrina, Brittany was dedicated, determined, driven, and highly successful in everything she did at Weston Ranch.
“It has been an honor to have been Brittany’s counselor these past four years,” counselor Daisy Carmona added about Vang. “I was able to see her evolve into the young lady she is today. She is a hardworking and dedicated young lady. I do not doubt that she will make a difference in the world and continue to succeed. UC Davis is so lucky to have her!”
Again, what does that say about our students? Not only did we have Sabrina, but we had Brittany, too. Our campus is and was pretty fortunate to have two young people of this quality. And in this time of uncertainty, what more fabulous gift could be better?
Congratulations again to Sabrina and Brittany. While you may not get to put the exclamation point on your high school careers on May 28th in front of your classmates and families, we treasure your time here and are so proud of both of you. Long live the Class of 2020!