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Power outage doesn't dim Princeton High graduation
The Princeton High School class of 2012 didn't graduate under the traditional bright lights of the campus gymnasium.
But Thursday's massive power outage that hit the east side of Colusa and Glenn counties didn't dim the spirit of the occasion.
If anything, the first hot day of the season paved the way for humor.
"I'm roasting in these clothes up here," said Brian Sullivan, as he gave his valedictory speech under a generator-rigged spotlight.
His crisp black shirt, slacks and tie were covered by his Princeton Eagles graduation robe and honor cords, and his mortarboard was perched tightly on his head without so much as a breeze to ruffle his tassel.
The large, enthusiastic crowd fanned themselves with their graduation programs, but still managed to cheer loudly for each member of the close-knit graduating class, especially for Sullivan, who graduated top in his class, and Chad Zoller, who was second.
"I remember four years ago when I was a dork, running through the halls with my backpack." said Zoller, who also brought humor to his salutatory address. "Now I'm taller, and thankfully for the ladies, I'm a lot better looking."
Princeton High School's 20 seniors — a relatively large class for the small school district — graduated with remarkable success and phenomenal achievement, school officials said.
Top senior students, including Sullivan, Zoller, Brittany Ewing and Diane Romo, picked up numerous awards and scholarships.
Seniors from Princeton, which is a joint district of two counties, earned more than $12,000 in scholarships awarded by the Colusa County Schola ship Foundation, a near equal amount from Glenn County Scholarship Foundation, and numerous scholarships from service clubs in both counties.
Zoller earned the scholarship awarded by Princeton American Legion Post No. 98, which recently disbanded after 94 years in the community.
Alejandra Gutierrez Magana was chosen the Princeton American Legion Auxiliary's Girl State delegate.
Zoller was named 2012 Outstanding Boy and Romo was named Outstanding Girl.
Sullivan and Zoller each received the Air Force's awards for outstanding achievement in math and science.
Most importantly, each senior received a high school diploma, which celebrates a remarkable transition.
"We stand on the borderline between childhood and adulthood," said Xochitl Gonzalez. "It seems like the end, but it's only the start."
Zoller said Thursday was a historic day, but even the self-described "one-man wolfpack" agreed he didn't reach academic success on his own — even with the Internet, Wikipedia and Google.
"The true credit goes to great teachers," he said.
Sullivan also gave credit to teachers and parents, and described his classmates as remarkable peers.
He wished each luck as they venture out on their own, whether it is on to college or into the workforce.
"All of our dreams will come true if we have the courage to pursue them," he said.
Following the ceremony, the Princeton High graduating class exited the gym to the recessional "I Made It."
Gathering in the courtyard — the heat all but forgotten — the seniors were showered with gifts, cards and congratulations from family and friends.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or email@example.com.