MERCED — For most of Merced County's high school seniors, this is a memorable week, with graduations scheduled Thursday and Friday.
Officials are expecting 3,294 students to receive diplomas at Merced, Golden Valley, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Livingston, Gustine, Hilmar, Los Banos and Dos Palos high schools.
Mostly sunny and dry weather is expected for the commencements, but the temperatures will be typical for early June, in the high 90s to low 100s, with only light winds forecast.
Delhi and Le Grand high schools held their commencement ceremonies Friday, with 258 students graduating.
John Olson, Merced High School's principal, graduated from Livingston High School in 1981. He remembers those years well.
"I have fond memories," Olson, 49, said. "I remember being excited. It was a neat time in my life. My high school years went by in a flash. Everybody knew everybody. My dad taught there."
Olson's six sisters and three brothers also graduated from Livingston High School.
Merced High School's graduation is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Merced College Stadium 76 Don Odishoo Field. There are 575 graduates, 87 of them honor grads. Scholarships worth $2 million will be given to 150 students.
Golden Valley High School's graduation will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Cougar Arena, with 485 students receiving diplomas. There are 104 honor graduates, and 200 scholarships worth $561,000 will be awarded.
Atwater High School's graduation will be Thursday at 8 p.m. in Dave Honey Stadium. There are 379 Atwater High graduates, 84 of them earning honors. Scholarships with a total value of $428,670 will be given to 234 students.
At Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, Thursday's 7 p.m. commencement rites in the school's amphitheater will see 411 graduates, 50 of them honor grads. About $2 million in scholarships will be awarded.
Livingston High School's graduation will be Thursday at 8 p.m. at the football stadium. There are 276 Livingston graduates, 44 of them receiving honors, with 133 scholarships worth $229,050 to be given out.
Hilmar High School's 147 graduates will march Thursday at 7:45 p.m. at McSweeney Field. Twelve of these students will receive honors and 152 scholarships valued at $78,650 will be awarded.
In Los Banos, 243 students at Los Banos High School will graduate Friday at 8 p.m. in ceremonies at Loftin Stadium, 29 of them honor grads. Forty-seven scholarships valued at $130,200 will be awarded.
Pacheco High School is expecting 289 graduates Friday at 8 p.m. in Veterans Stadium. Twenty-six honor graduates are among the totals, with 21 scholarships worth $39,750 to be awarded.
Seventy-three students will graduate from San Luis Continuation High Thursday at 7 p.m., at Loftin Stadium; 29 students of Crossroads Alternative Education Center will graduate at the same time and place.
There are 125 graduates at Dos Palos High School who will be honored at ceremonies Friday at 7 p.m. at the football field. Seventy of these graduates are sharing $34,750 worth of scholarships.
In Gustine, 104 students will graduate Friday at 7 p.m. in ceremonies at the Gustine High football-soccer field. Ninety-seven scholarships with a total value of $57,800 will be awarded.
In Delhi, 162 students graduated Friday in ceremonies at the football stadium. Fourteen scholarships worth $35,950 were handed out.
Le Grand High School's Friday night graduation saw 96 graduates, 25 of them honor students. Scholarships worth $25,000 were awarded.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.