Mac High's 103rd class graduates
Nearly 400 red-robed young men and women tossed their caps into the air Friday evening to celebrate their graduation from McMinnville High School.
Family members and friends filled Wortman Stadium to honor the school's 103rd graduating class. They stood as seniors marched, two by two, past a receiving line of teachers and other staff members.
Principal Kris Olsen lauded the class for its academic skills and other achievements. He said members have received about $6.5 million in scholarships, grants and other awards to help them continue their education.
Eleven valedictorians had perfect grades, and 18 others were salutatorians who received only one B or advanced placement credits that pushed their GPA past 4.0, Olsen said. Fifty-four received honors diplomas and 101 qualified for gold honor chords by having grades of 3.5 or better.
The class earned 351 career pathway endorsements and 6,260 college credits during the four years of high school. One-hundred -thirteen members earned 24 or more college credits each, meaning they will have a substantial jump on college and save a great deal of money, as well.
Forty-seven members of the Class of 2013 were OSAA scholar-athletes and another 24 earned scholar-activity awards, the principal said.
Before students received their diplomas, the band and choir performed. Four of the graduating seniors spoke -- Matt Desmond and Erica Johnson; Eliza Hallett, the outstanding girl of the year; and Martin Cortes Perez, the outstanding boy of the year.
Cortes, who learned English after moving from Mexico to the U.S. at age 12, delivered his speech in both English and Spanish.
He acknowledged his parents for sacrificing in order to make a better life for him and his brothers. When he asked his parents to stand, the crowd applauded and his entire graduating class rose to join him in giving them a standing ovation.
For more about the 2013 Mac High graduation, see the Tuesday edition of the News-Register.