It’s off to college they go.
Seniors in Pioneer Valley High School’s Achievement Via Individual Determination classes signed a commitment Friday to their post-secondary institution of their choice. Nearly 60 Panthers at the Santa Maria school participated in the annual event at campus’ amphitheater.
The students are on their way to 25 institutions, which break down to one community college, 18 CalState or UC schools, one military branch and five private schools. The schools vary from Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UCLA, USC, Stanford and Yale.
The students participated in AVID, which stands for Achievement Via Individual Determination.
“To me signing day is being one step closer to achieving my goal of going to a university and pursuing my dream career of becoming a nurse,’’ said Kimberly Lua, a senior AVID student, in a news release. “I am passionate and excited to help others and give back to my community through my career.”
Another senior AVID student, Gabriel Dominguez, said he has been working for five years toward his goal of attending a university right out of high school. “Signing Day is the day I finally get to plant my flag on the mountain’s peak and reflect on all I’ve done to get where I am. Signing Day isn’t just a day to celebrate this achievement. It’s also a day for me to thank everyone who was there for me and helped me reach the mountain peak.”
Brooke Baarstad, a math and AVID teacher, said Pioneer Valley High School is celebrating the accomplishments of the AVID Class of 2021 after for four years of the students’ growth in academic, social and self-awareness areas. “We are pleased to honor the perseverance and dedication of our senior AVID graduates. Their steadfastness to the AVID program and its values has garnered PVHS with a historic number of college acceptances from prestigious universities and an incredible number of scholarship awardees.”
Elsewhere in the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Righetti High School seniors celebrated Senior Signing Day on Friday afternoon.
Righetti counselors, administrators, staff and Allan Hancock College and military representatives greeted the seniors during the drive-through event with music, signs, balloons and smiles. (The seniors also received a Chick-fil-A sandwich.)
Seniors are going to four-year universities, community colleges, vocational/technical schools and the military, according to Mandy McDonald, Warrior college and career specialist
“This is a great way to recognize our outstanding students who realize the importance of continuing their education because it really can make dreams and goals come true,’’ Principal Karen Rotondi said.