Liz Pulcheon and Rafaela Espinoza pose with Lucia Ortega. Photo by Heather Graham.
Liz Pulcheon and Rafaela Espinoza pose with Lucia Ortega. Photo by Heather Graham.

San Benito High School hosted its first Adult Education graduation ceremony on May 30 in the campus library. It celebrated the accomplishments of students who returned to high school to complete courses necessary to earn a diploma.

The program offers adults and teenage parents up to 90 units’ worth of high school credits in English, math, social science and electives.

Nine students from the 2018-19 program participated in the ceremony. Wearing traditional caps and gowns, the graduates proceeded through the library to traditional music. Families attended to witness their milestone.

Director of Educational Services Elaine Klauer presented opening remarks and credited instructor Liz Pulcheon for the program’s success.

Asked what prompted him to return to high school, graduate Salvador Vaca said he wanted to set a good example for his boys and “further my life for myself and for them.”

For fellow graduate Nina Velez, “It was an amazing experience. I’m so thankful for them giving me the chance to finish my diploma.”

Both Pulcheon and Rafaela Espinoza, an English language learners instructional assistant, shook hands with graduates and handed out the ceremonial diplomas. SBHS trustee John Corrigan presented each graduate with a small rose bouquet.

Following the brief but heartfelt ceremony, graduates and their guests enjoyed cake and refreshments in the courtyard. Handmade floral centerpieces decorated the outdoor tables and graduates were encouraged to take them home.

Though nine students participated in the ceremony, 13 students were listed in the program: Gregory Issac Arispe, Juan Pablo Barroso Bribiescas, Alberto Colmenero, Leticia Stephanie Flores, Quixcia Hernandez Guzman, Sabrina Eileen Ippolito, Lucia Armenta Ortega, Flor Xiomara Orozco, Melanie Leigh Thomas, Salvador Ruiz Vaca Jr., Michael Manuel Valderrama, Neal Martin Velez and Nina Rochelle Velez.


The Adult Education Program at San Benito High School begins the first Tuesday after Labor Day. Contact Adult Education Clerk Sharon Finley at (831) 637-5831 ext. 168 for more information.