New School gives students another option

Yesenia Conda and Brian Aburto were among the graduates of the class of 2019 at New School in Watsonville. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville’s New School brought 11 graduates to the stage for their commencement ceremony at the Mello Center June 5.

Yesenia Conda said she graduated after spending the last two years at the school.

“I’m going to Cabrillo College after this,” she said. “I hope to do psychology. I’ve spoken with career counselor, they really helped me and motivate me in this direction.”

Born in Watsonville, Yesenia said she had trouble at other area schools before discovering New School, which she said set her on track.

“The teachers here have helped encourage me to come to school regularly,” Yesenia said. “At other schools they were too packed — like 35 students per class, compared to New School, where there are like 10 to 12 students. It’s much better; you learn faster.”

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New School graduates of 2019. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

Yesenia said she felt lucky that she found “good teachers” at New School.

“I would recommend this school, because they have really helped me,” she said. “I’ve made some friends here and the teachers really care about you here: That’s what made a difference with me.”

Brian Aburto said he was at the school since his sophomore year.

“I’m planning to go work with K&D Landscaping,” he said. “I used to work for them. They told my teacher that they wanted me to come back and get a job again with them. New School has been really good for me. I am more respectful now. I used to be a big troublemaker, not doing my homework, talking back to teachers, being destructive. I’m 18 years old now and I’ve calmed down. They helped my take my energy in a good direction.”

Brian said the teachers at New School “are great, all of them.”

“They are a special group of people. I went to Watsonville High. Being [on] an open campus…I wasn’t that good with that so I came here,” he said. “This school is great for me; it took me a long way and I’m glad.”

Principal Rafael Ramirez II said of his first graduating class at New School, “I’m super excited because of what these kids have done. I’m very proud of their achievements and I’m sure their families are too.”

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New School graduate Christopher Lopez studies his speech at the school’s graduation June 5 at the Mello Center. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

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