Kindergartners say goodbye to Soboba Tribal Preschool


The 23 little ones who will be heading off to first grade in the fall got a grand send-off with a graduation ceremony at the Soboba Sports Complex June 6. Hundreds of supporters that included many extended family members, cheered and applauded the Soboba Tribal Preschool students as they entered the gymnasium to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance.

Soboba Tibal Preschool kindergarten students prepare to enter the Soboba Sports Complex gymnasium for their graduation ceremony June 6.

After a blessing by Wayne Nelson, the kindergarten class joined him and the Intertribal Bird Singers for a couple of social songs to mark the special occasion. Acting director Donovan Post thanked kindergarten teacher Laura Aldrete and Instructional Aide Elena Vega-Castello for their hard work along with other staff and Tribal Council members for everything they do to support the school. Many of the children were completing their third year as a student at the preschool.

Kindergartners join Wayne Nelson and the Intertribal Bird Singers at the start of the Class of 2024 graduation ceremony as staff, friends and family watch.

Aldrete said, “Today, as we pay tribute to the young ladies and gentlemen of tomorrow, we know that they have started their remarkable journey towards achieving their goals. This year we have seen them grow and develop exponentially. They have learned so much. They have remained eager and enthusiastic, and they have grown in so many ways. Our thanks and appreciation go out to all the families for the fantastic role you have played in supporting, loving and encouraging your child.”

Students wait for the music to begin for them to perform their class song for a room full of supporters.

She then addressed the children directly and said, “Boys and girls, we are very proud of you today; you all are incredibly special. You have all worked very hard every day, you have made friends and have been friendly to others. Congratulations to each and every one of you. I am extremely privileged to have been able to be your teacher. Dream big and remember, each one of you is unique and can do anything.”

The children were then asked to stand and perform their class song. In true “Swifties” fashion, they performed their own version of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” with lyrics such as “the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read, the writers gonna write, write, write, write, write and I’m gonna do my best, best, best in first grade, first grade.”

Soboba Tribal Preschool staff find many ways to express their pride in their kindergarten class of 23 students upon their graduation at the Soboba Sports Complex.

Aldrete called each student to the podium to be congratulated and to receive their diploma as she shared a little bit about them. While the majority said what they liked most about school was learning, coloring and playing with friends, their grown-up goals were very diverse. Aria Boniface, Ava’vash Briones and Avareign Lindsey want to be teachers and Marla Bigsby, Ace Covington, Gabriel Herrera III, Legend Macias and Toovit Reed want to be firefighters. Pomoyki Osuna wants to be a firefighter and a boxer while Ruben Olaez will just concentrate on his boxing career. Jose Figueroa, Linnea Lopez, Eric Marquez and Tuukut Silvas are looking toward law enforcement careers while Nova Mendoza, Clover Swan and Mikki Valenzuela want to go into the medical field. Violet Chacon aspires to be a chef and Louis Cervantes wants to work at Soboba in some capacity. Ignacio Alcala wants to be part of the company that makes Takis tortilla chips and Angelo Martinez would like to be “a factory worker who makes chocolate milk.” Nehsoon Salas wants to be “a nail person” and Menyil Tohee is eyeing a career as a mail person.

Marla Bigsby and Ava’vash Briones share smiles at the Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony June 6.
Ignacio Alcala proudly poses for photos after receiving his diploma at the Soboba Tribal Preschool Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony.

Kindergartners also received an achievement award for what made them stand out in the classroom all year long and they were: Ignacio Alcala, Accelerated Reader All Star; Aria Boniface, Social Studies Star; Marla Bigsby, Amazing Attendance; Ava’vash Briones, Queen of Kindness; Louis Cervantes, Super Friend; Violet Chacon, Magnificent Manners; Ace Covington, Math Magician; Jose Figueroa, Helping Hands; Gabriel Herrera III, King of Kindness; Avareign Lindsey, Rockin’ Reader; Linnea Lopez, Fantastic Friend; Legend Macias, Honest Abe; Eric Marquez, Exceptional Effort; Angelo Martinez, Awesome Author; Nova Mendoza, Blue Ribbon Behavior; Ruben Olaez, Most Improved; Pomoyki Osuna, Marvelous Musician; Toovit Reed, Reading Counts Rock Star; Nehsoon Salas, Spectacular Citizen; Tuukut Silvas, Computer Whiz; Clover Swan, Superb Speller; Menyil Tohee, Aspiring Artist; and Mikki Valenzuela, Hardworking Hero.

Kindergartners react to confetti flying through the air at the conclusion of their graduation ceremony.
Kindergarten friends Clover Swan and Pomoyki Osuna are happy graduates after the ceremony June 6.


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