JSerra’s Class of 2011 Leaves ‘Powerful Legacy’

By Bill Rams

In his address to graduates Saturday morning, outgoing principal Tom Waszakrattled off the class of 2011’s many accomplishments.

Principal Waszak receiving a tearful standing ovation from the class of 2011 and the JSerra community

Admissions to top universities such as MIT and Brown. The school’s first back-to-back Trinity League champions (boys soccer). More than $8.8 million in scholarships and grants.

“One of the the greatest achievements in life is to leave a legacy,” he said. “You have left a powerful legacy.”

It’s not just 220 graduating seniors who have left a legacy. Saturday’s graduation was Waszak’s last as JSerra principal.

“My time at JSerra has been amazing,” he said. “Thank you for providing me with outstanding support and for creating a lifetime of great memories.”

But Waszak’s farewell wasn’t the only unique twist during JSerra’s eighth commencement ceremony.

Valedictorian Luke Decker gave his address via video. The Dartmouth-bound graduate missed the event because he was in Clovis, CA competing in the track state championships.

2011 Valedictorian Luke Decker presenting his speech via video from Fresno, CA

In his taped speech, Decker talked about his comeback this year after he collapsed during the Trinity league championship race last year.

“My fall was not a failure – rather, it became a defining moment in my life,” he said. “Our time at JSerra has reminded us of this: God has blessed us with our own unique talents.”