Graduates gather roses to give to members of the audience in thanks for their support during the Golden Oak Adult School graduation celebration held at the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center in Canyon Country on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Golden Oak graduates receive diplomas, credentials during commencement

During the 2019 Golden Oak 71st anniversary commencement ceremony Friday, both a high school diploma graduation and a high school equivalency credential celebration took place.

Twenty-seven students received either their high school equivalency credential or diploma. However, this was not the entire Golden Oak class of 2019, and for this year a total of 21 students received high school diplomas and 23 received a high school equivalency credential (HiSET).

Jean Pierre Mendoza, right, shakes hands with dignitaries from left, Assembywoman Christy Smith, State Senator Scott Wilk, City of Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth and Congresswoman Katie Hill as Mendoza receives his High School Equivalency Credential during the Golden Oak Adult School graduation celebration held at the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center in Canyon Country on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Golden Oak held their ceremony in the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center. The event featured both a high school diploma graduation and a HiSET equivalency credential celebration.

“The stories of these students … exemplifies the value of education and the opportunities for second chances that adult school provides them,” said Golden Oak High School Princip Jodie Hoffman.

Graduates stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during the Golden Oak Adult School graduation celebration held at the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center in Canyon Country on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We all here tonight each one of us with our own obstacles and challenges in life, and I can guarantee that some of yours are far more difficult than mine ever were,” said Golden Oak faculty member Mike Ehrhart, you read a speech on behalf of Nicole Phillips, a diploma program graduate who was unable to attend the ceremony. “But regardless, you are here, and you have all worked hard and sacrificed to get this far.”

In attendance at the event were a number of local community leaders, school board members, Congresswoman Katie Hill, State Senator Scott Wilk, Assemblywoman Christy Smith and councilmembers Cameron Smyth and Bill Miranda.

Student Speaker Ernestina Ramirez speaks at the podium before fellow graduates and dignitaries during the Golden Oak Adult School graduation celebration held at the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center in Canyon Country on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I urge you to continue to pursue life with purpose, passion and perseverance,” said Wilk, the keynote speaker. “Life is a journey, and sometimes a journey is not what you planned or you didn’t even know a plan was required. But it’s never too late to press on.”

Following the speeches from Smyth and Hill, the HiSET credential earners were recognized followed by the conferring of high school diplomas and a recognition of the graduates.

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