Tracy High’s 107th Commencement marked a transition for the high school.

After the Bulldog Class of 2022, including 417 graduates, filed into Wayne Schneider Stadium they heard from Principal Jason Noll one more time.

After 14 years as principal of Tracy High Noll will move on to become the director of student services for Tracy Unified School District, and Jon Waggle will become the new principal. Noll spoke of the opportunity he has had over those years to influence so many students.

“I know some of you have heard Mr. Noll’s three peaks of success in high school: Show up, shut up and smile,” he told the graduates.

“Show up. Be engaged in life. Don’t just sit in your bed or on your phone playing video games, hoping something good will happen to you,” Noll said. “You need to go out and be engaged. You need to set goals. You need to go out and work for it. If you don’t know now what you want to do with the rest of your life that’s OK. That’s fine. Just do something.”

He went on to remind the graduates that they learn more when they listen instead of always talking.

“Some of the biggest problems we have in society today are because people refuse to listen to each other. Does that mean you have to agree with everything anyone says? Of course not! But listen and you might learn something.”

He then implored graduates to always have a positive attitude.

“There are people in this world that are haters, they’re ignorant, they’re going to do everything they can to tear you down. Don’t let them,” he said. “You can’t control them, but you can control you.”

“It’s like when you have a little pebble and if you ever go down to a pond or a lake or whatever, and you throw that pebble in there, and all of a sudden these ripples spread out, infinitely larger than size that pebble ever was. The same thing happens when you have a person in society with a good attitude and a good smile.”

Noll went on to describe how every step forward, be it big or small, is progress as long as it’s a step toward a meaningful goal.

“Now 29 years ago I sat right there, in this stadium. It didn’t look this nice. Right? The track was dirt, the field was bare, grass disappearing in the middle. I sat right there,” he said, gesturing toward the middle of the field. “Never in a million years did I dream I would be the principal at Tracy High. The future principal of Tracy High could be sitting here right now.”

Valedictorian Ilana Burg and co-Salutatorians Adnan Kapadia and Mohammad Saiyed were recognized for their accomplishments, and student speaker Alisonn Remollino urged her classmates to value the fleeting moments that make up the high school years and everything that follows.

“There are still many amazing things set out for us as we leave Tracy High with a greater sense of independence and maturity,” she said. “What matters is that you choose to achieve your dreams and your goals for yourself, not wasting them trying to be somebody else.”

“It’s not entirely about where you choose to go, but what you make of yourself in the end. What we choose to do with the choices given to us reveals the truth of our character.”

Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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(1) comment

aaron

Thanks for the article! Would like to share a speech by the valedictorian as well since they don’t allow for them to speak at the ceremony: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CeEp-ePj6_l/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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