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June 12, 2021

Renaissance High graduates 41 students | Grads 2021

WATSONVILLE—Renaissance High School brought 41 graduates to the stage at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds under mild, sunny skies on June 2.

Melanie Guzman-Perez

“The past 16 months has tested your tenacity—not seeing friends and teachers in person,” said Drew Singleton, a principal within the Pajaro Valley Unified School District who sat in for principal Deanna Young who was out on a family emergency. “I am so proud of you, Dragon nation, for doing what it took to get to this point; to go out into the world and make it an amazing place with your actions.”

Student of the year, Melanie Guzman-Perez, shed praise on her high school for the assistance she got.

“I really liked it here,” she said. “They helped me a lot. The teachers are super supportive and they care about their students. I was able to graduate because of them. Teachers like Mr. Patrick (DeMera) really helped me with math; he made sure I followed through with the problems and made sure I understood.”

She said she now hopes to move on to Monterey Peninsula College.

Israel Mondragon

Israel Mondragon came to Renaissance in the middle of his sophomore year.

“At first, when I came here it was confusing and it took me a while to settle down and find my place,” he said. “But I got good help here. I reached out to the teachers and they heard me. The principal, Deanna Young was great. (Teachers) Patrick (DeMera) and Robert (Ehrlich) made a big difference for me: They helped me realize what I needed.”

Mondragon said that since he has experience in maintenance and landscaping, he hopes to look into work with the city of Watsonville.

“For me, today is a big deal: This is what my mom wanted me to do,” he said.

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