Pacific Coast Charter School graduates reflect, look forward

Pacific Coast Charter School's graduating class of 2019 celebrates onstage at the Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts in Watsonville June 4. (Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE—Each with 13 years at Pacific Coast Charter School under their belts, Sam Vazquez and Marcus Sporleder are preparing for the next phase of their lives.

“I’m definitely a bit sad to leave,” Vazquez said. “I mean, I’ve been here since kindergarten. I’ve made a lot of friends. But it’ll be good to get out and experience something new.”

Vasquez and Sporleder are part of Pacific Coast Charter School’s 2019 graduating class of 48 students. On June 4, the students, along with faculty and staff, friends and family celebrated their graduation at the Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts.

PCCS, a K-12 school blending homeschool and independent study with workshops, tutorials and field studies, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Some people enter at high school level, while others—like Sporleder and Vasquez—are longterm students.

“It’s a weird feeling to leave PCCS,” Sporleder said. “I can’t remember a teacher here I didn’t like. Everyone is friendly, they help you with anything you need. It’s a great environment.”

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ABOVE: Graduates Sam Vasquez and Marcus Sporleder were recipients of Pacific Coast Charter School's first-ever Resiliency Awards. Both have attended the school since kindergarten. (Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian)

The June 4 ceremony included a welcome speech by Principal Drew Singleton, as well as speeches by Salutatorian Daisy Martinez-Garcia and Valedictorian Michael David Wilson. Awards were handed out to students for excellence in writing and science, among others. For the first time ever, PCCS gave out two “Resiliency Awards”—to Sporleder and Vasquez.

Cabrillo College is in the sights of Sporleder and Vasquez this fall, with Vasquez thinking of studying psychology and looking forward to possible future fishing trip to Alaska.

Sporleder hinted at someday working on cars—but he’s open to what the future brings. He admits that he’s nervous about plenty, including being able to pay for housing.

“I’m just ready to relax for a while and figure things out,” he said. “It’s a big step, leaving high school.”

A cheer rang out on June 4 as students moved their tassels from one side of their hat to another, signaling their official graduation.

“Congratulations,” Singleton said, “You guys made it.”

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