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June 11, 2013 > 'Learn, Experience, Thrive' legacy shines at CSD commencement

'Learn, Experience, Thrive' legacy shines at CSD commencement

Submitted By Julie Rems-Smario

Forty Deaf seniors graduated from California School for the Deaf in Fremont (CSD) on June 7, including Valedictorian of this year's class, Jacy Dylan Pedersen. Another student, Esperanza Ceci Dillard, was selected as the Class Speaker. Both students gave presentations at the graduation ceremony reflecting CSD's motto: "Learn, Experience, and Thrive."

Jacy Dylan Pedersen, the youngest of three Deaf brothers, has attended CSD since preschool, following his family's legacy; his brothers, father, grandfather, great-grandmother, uncles, aunts, great uncles, great aunts, and several cousins have also graduated from CSD. Along with a 3.91 GPA, he participated on the Academic Bowl, led as Class President in 2009 and Vice President in 2010, and worked as Peer Advisor. During his high school years, Jacy has demonstrated strong athletic skills; he played on CSD's football, basketball, and baseball teams for four consecutive years. Named All American by National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association, Jacy is the first player from CSD to be honored by MaxPreps. Jacy looks forward to attending Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., to study Business Administration and Engineering this fall.

Esperanza Ceci Dillard, a resident of Livermore, followed her older brother's footsteps to attend CSD where she thrived in its rich bilingual education setting. Her resume of volunteer activities includes working at food banks, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and elections. Although spending many hours volunteering, she remained dedicated to her academics and managed to be on the honor roll every year. While serving as the Editor in Chief for the yearbook committee this year, she also participated in several associations and committees including International Studies, Foothill Athletic Association, Student Body Government, and Prom Planning. While juggling her studies, leadership activities, and volunteer work, Esperanza participated in sports as a star athlete playing on CSD's basketball, softball, and volleyball teams. This year she was the captain of her volleyball team and was on the cheerleading squad. Like Jacy, Esperanza looks forward to going to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., where she will study Criminal Justice to become a correctional counselor.

The 141st Commencement group included Junzel Agbayani (Sunnyvale), Andrea Cristina Aguilar (Fremont), Alivia Lynne Alberigi-Speicher (Sebastopol), Jacinda Tita Baldwin-Gomez (Union City), Brandy Robyn Beers (South Lake Tahoe), Arlene Jamie Bohm (Lodi), Daysy Flor Botello (Union City), Phillys Faith Marie Brown (Oakland), Antonio Marcello Bulatao (Ceres), Priscilla Tilly Castaneda (Modesto), Andrey Yuryevich Cherepov (Antelope), Esperanza Ceci Dillard (Livermore), Cristal Areli Duenas Tejeda (Newark), Kayla Marie Enos (Citrus Heights), Daniel Eduardo Flores (Oakland), Joella Rose Hazelett (Fremont), ShaRae Juneeda Himes (Modesto), Jacques Droutsas Kielbus (Union City), Michaelson Paul Liddle (Suisun City), Emily Lorraine Livermore (Pacific Grove), Carlos Anthony Lopez (Newman), Shen Mai (San Francisco), RaGene Theola Malave (Vallejo), Christine Agnes Marshall (Fremont), Yesenia Martinez Manzano (Livermore), Christopher Thomas Mitchell (Fresno), Joshua Alan Mora (Fremont), Carolina Valencia Otuafi (Jolon), Paul Charles Padilla (Carmichael), Rebecca Patron Carreon (Los Banos), Michaela Victoria Patton (Delhi), Jacy Dylan Pedersen (Newark), Alexander Edward Raimondo-Kerber (San Jose), Fredy Sanchez Ranero (Sunnyvale), James Pattana Sonabandhit (Visalia), Carlos Ramario Sotelo Sanchez (Ceres), Gregory Lloyd Spriggs-Cudjo (Fremont), Ian Gilbert Vale Cruz Tanael (Union City), Leeza Williams (Pacific Grove), and Zenn Alden Williams (Dublin).

To learn more about the California School for the Deaf visit

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