(Note: for more graduation photos, check out the Gazette's gallery section below.)
Sunday afternoon was their moment, said Rick Jorgenson, RVHS principal.
For one hour the 90 seniors from Redwood Valley High School celebrated all of the late nights and long hours of reading pages, writing papers and solving problems when they each walked across the RVMS/HS gym stage and were handed their diploma.
"We are here to honor you," Jorgen-son said. "Be proud of what you have ac-complished."
The diploma, said Jorgenson, is a document that represents the successful completion of the re-quirements to be named a high school graduate, but, he added, it means much more than that.
"It means you have accomplished a goal," he said, adding this was a day each graduate has been working toward for some time, and for many of them it was a day they may have never ex-pected would come.
While the commencement ceremony does signify the end of one part of their lives, Jorgenson told the students they are much closer to the beginning of their lives than the end.
"You have much more to learn and to do in your life," he said, encouraging each student to set goals and work hard to achieve them.
"On behalf of my fellow graduates, I would like to say thank you," said Megan Riley, as she offered words of welcome at the start of the ceremony. "Thank you to all the moms out there for making countless trips to Reede Gray with tennis shoes, so we wouldn't have to wear our snow boots all day. Thank you to the dads for giving us someone to always count on when we needed something signed without it actually being read. Thank you to all the teachers and coaches who put up with us on our good, our bad and our ugly days and yet remained relatively calm…usually.
"Today we begin the rest of our lives, and although we will be going our separate ways we will never forget our times at RVHS."