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June 15, 2012 > Deaf youth celebrate success; graduate from California School for the Deaf

Deaf youth celebrate success; graduate from California School for the Deaf

Submitted By Julie Rems-Smario

Friday, June 8, sixty-two Deaf Seniors graduated from California School for the Deaf (CSD), including two outstanding young women named Valedictorian and Salutatorian, Brittany Ann Farr and Olivia Sara Joshua Stein. Both students gave their presentations at the graduation ceremony in the school's gym.

Valedictorian, Brittany Farr, the youngest of four Deaf siblings, attended CSD since preschool. Her parents relocated to Fremont from New York City so their Deaf children could get their bilingual education (ASL and English) at CSD. During her high school years, Brittany served as a peer advisor leader, student body government officer, academic bowl team member, volleyball team member, math tutor for the elementary school students, yearbook editor-in-chief, actress in school plays, etc. Brittany also appreciates learning and loves learning new things that enhances her academic experience. The teachers describe her as an all-around student who expresses great interest in social justice and stands up for her beliefs diplomatically. With Provost Scholarship, Brittany looks forward to going to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. this Fall.

Salutatorian, Olivia Sara Joshua Stein, earned a scholarship from Gallaudet University because of her outstanding academic and softball talents. She also served as the captain for both basketball and softball teams and was on the volleyball team. She enjoys media and participated in the school's Talon News as one of the staff. On top of her academic, athletic and media accomplishments, she also enjoyed the student body government leadership. Her peers and teachers know her as a student with outstanding people skills and strong character, who always got involved with campus activities. As a resident of Pleasanton, Olivia enrolled at CSD during her freshman year and thrived in the bilingual education (ASL and English) setting. Her peers and teachers described Olivia as a person of strong character with outstanding interpersonal and academic skills. Like Brittany, Olivia also looks forward to her education, athletic, and leadership endeavors at Gallaudet University.

The 140th Commencement group included Conrad Michael Baer, Shawn Jacob Benavente, Tabitha Valerie Benavides, Alexandria Brianna Brinkley-Green, Anthony Ryan Santos Cabras, Brandon Mark Call, Travis Ryan Combs-Beard, Brittany Ann Dike, Jeremy Edwards, Adam Jacob Escamilla, Marcos Esqueda Jr., Brittany Ann Farr, David Michael Robert Foust, Jorge Carlos Gamino-Bermudez, Amy Briseida Gutierrez, Francis Lee Harmount, Jose Manuel Hernandez, Samantha Jo Hyland, Hobart Kane, Karly Ann Knopf, Jordan Louis Kray, Steven Michael La, Audrey Anna Lagasca, Rene Enrique Landaverde-Borjas, John Lavrentjev,Michael West Liddon Jr., Natalie Ann Lizarraga, Evelyn Viviana Lopez, Cynthia Marlene Marquez-Campos, Diana Martinez-Meza, Grecia Martinez-Solis, Ruby Huiltron Martinez, Donna Melena, Andrew Steven Mercado-Fabila, Miguel de Jesus Meza Cruz, Jose Pablo Mora Jr., Jeongin Mun, Antoine Lumarr Nathaniel Jr., Erin Oldham, Ada Yareli Olvera, Spencer Gordon Opie, Cesar Ortega-Romo, Chelsea Abra Pelter, Maya Victoria Penn, Zepsi Happy Prader, Evelynn Robles-Ponce, Gupreet Rai, Dion James Rubio, Owais Nasser Sarsur, Stefani Serrato-Romo, Kelsey Chanise Slocum, Danny Boissiere Smiley, Olivia Sara Joshua Stein, Cody James Stewart, Jasmine Lenay Urtiz, William Sam Vaillancour, Areli Denisse Valadez-Torres, Michael Vasquez, Luis Alberto Ventura-Torres, Mersadies Crysana Villar, Dalena Nguyen Vo, and Kevin Steven Wnek.

The mission of the California School for the Deaf is to provide comprehensive educational programs which create a strong foundation for future learning among graduates in an accessible learning environment that recognizes Deaf students and adults as culturally and linguistically distinct. The school will ensure that students receive a quality education with emphasis on full communication access through fluency in both American Sign Language and English. This will enable students to reach their maximum potential while preparing them to function effectively in a diverse technologically-evolving world. Learn more at

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