Martin Luther King (Jr.) High School

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King High School in the NEWS:

The following is from The Davis Enterprise:  

King High holds festive graduation

By Jeff HudsonFrom page A1 | June 09, 2017


Martin Luther King High School celebrated the achievement of 31 graduates on Wednesday evening, in a ceremony that included personal tributes to the students before a warm audience of family and friends in the Brunelle Performance Hall at Davis High School.

King High offers a voluntary educational option for about 65 to 80 high school students — mostly juniors and seniors — who need to focus on completing enough units to earn a diploma. Many of the students have jobs, and King offers flexible scheduling in a small learning community.

The school was recognized in 2014 by the state as a model continuation high school program.


King High Principal Michelle Flowers congratulated the graduates, and urged them to go forward and meet life’s challenges, quoting the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

The graduation ceremony also was a fond farewell for longtime school secretary Karey Spivey, the “school mom” who takes attendance and consequently gets to know the students quite well. The students greeted Spivey with one of the louder rounds of applause and cheers when she was introduced.

Spivey recently completed a master’s degree and has taken a position as a school psychologist intern at a school district in Mendocino County. She congratulated graduate Jah-Mengesha Wentz, recalling that she had helped him enroll as a kindergartner at the old Valley Oak Elementary campus. She also greeted graduate Beau Lambrect, who finished enough units to graduate as a junior, as King High’s first graduate born in the 21st century.

Staffer Maria Aguirre Robledo provided Spanish translation of remarks for several students, and she got a little teary-eyed and emotional as she introduced them. The King High Class of 2017 includes several students who were born in Latin America, some of whom came to this country as recently as two years ago.

This year’s King graduates expressed interest in a variety of careers. Stephania Montoya wants to train as a midwife; Calvin Henry hopes to be a financial adviser. Bailey Soria soon will be wearing a uniform — she’s joined the Army.

Elijah Arispe will study in the culinary program at American River College, Cesar Pantoja will seek a career in aeronautical engineering and Jonah Watts wants to become an orthopedic surgeon.

Several students were congratulated by their teachers. Areli Topete was recognized for publishing a children’s book, which is available online. Oscar Reyes, Victor Franco-Pena and others were recognized for their hard work and persistence, completing their high school diploma while holding down one, two and (in one student’s case) three jobs.

After the ceremony, graduate Olivia Smith was chatting in the lobby with adult volunteer Jeff Deropp, who had worked with Smith to produce a King High yearbook this year. Smith said her diploma “gives me a lot more freedom, it will open up opportunities.”

Sherryl Read had driven over from Lakeport in the Clear Lake area — a distance of 160 miles — to see grandson Sam Read graduate. “This school is amazing,” she said. “We are so excited and proud of him.” Now that his high school education is complete, Sam is planning to visit Hawaii this summer.

Other parents traveled only a short distance to attend the graduation ceremony.

“We live in the neighborhood — we came a quarter of a mile,” said Susan Gridley, mother of graduate Aliya Hirzy. Her dad Mark said he was impressed by the “heartfelt ceremony” — the King graduation is usually a pretty celebratory event, since the grads had to study hard make up lost ground academically in order to complete their diplomas on time.

“It’s amazing,” said Aliya Hirzey, still wearing her cap and gown, and holding her diploma. “I’m really proud of myself.”

Scholarships were awarded to the following students:

Soroptimist Scholarships: Isabel Rueda, Calvin Henry

Odd Fellows Scholarship: Victor Franco-Pena

Concilio of Yolo County Scholarships: Hector Martinez, Cesar Pantoja, Bryan Flores

Rosie Gonzales Scholarship: Areli Topete

DWR Scholarship: Elijah Arispe

Kiwanis Scholarship: Olivia Smith

Davis Sunrise Rotary Scholarship: Steven Holm

Jack Reinwand Scholarship: Carson Lavalee

Hardenbrook/DTA Scholarship: Elizabeth Mauvais

King High Scholarships: Oscar Reyes, Johnny Padilla, Michael Baca, Bailey Soria


King High School Class of 2017

Elijah Arispe
Michael Baca
Kobe Cox
Bryan Flores
Victor Franco-Pena
Tanner Garza
Krishna Gorlick
Calvin Henry
Aliya Hirzy
Steven Holm
Beau Lambrecht
Carson Lavalee
Justice Magnan
Hector Martinez
Elizabeth Mauvais
Meili Monk
Stephania Montoya
Johnny Padilla
Cesar Pantoja
Samuel Read
Oscar Reyes
Isabel Rueda
Olivia Smith
Shane Smith
Bailey Soria
Areli Topete
Eric Torres
Kylie Tracanna
Xavier Urazandi
Jonah Watts
Jah-Mengesha Wentz