For some Hesperia Christian School seniors, last Friday's commencement exercises meant much more than just moving on from four years of high school. It meant reflecting on the only school they've known.


"I'm so grateful for the time I've spent here at HCS and the friends that I've made," said salutatorian Gilbert Cotto, who came to the school in the first grade. "I'm going to miss it here."


While students like Cotto, who earned a grade point average of 4.05, spent much of their time studying academics, the lasting lesson was service to others and to God.


"I encourage each one of you to not let down," said valedictorian Erin Guinan, who earned a 4.07 GPA. "We have so much farther to go.... I can't wait to see what God is going to do with us."


Moreover, student ministries pastor Tim Kuhl, who gave the evening's message, implored the 25 graduating seniors to go one step farther.


"Following God with half your heart is nothing," Pastor Kuhl said. "Want your Father more than you want anything."


Also during the ceremony, the senior class presented a unique "senior gift" to the school — a year's supply of Post-It Notes. Economically tough times played a role in the gift, according to the student who made the presentation.


"It was an easy decision," he said. "We hope that every time you use a note you stop and think about us."


The Shepherd Award to the most inspirational staff member went to teacher Audrey Longshore.


Worship was led by senior Jacob Ellis.


Pastor Dave Ley performed a "prayer of dedication" after school administrator Cindy Harmon presented the class. HCS teacher Tim Webster presided over the benediction. Bill Hague gave the opening remarks and Deb Ley gave the invocation.


The 39th graduating class of Hesperia Christian School:


Laura Elizabeth Acosta, Yvette Christine Adams, Austin William Allegranza, Marisa Renée Alvarado, Devin Christopher Connolly, Gilbert Alexander Cotto, Kaitlin Anne Dennis, Jacob Douglas Ellis, Jason Robert Gage, Esther Alexandrea Gonzales, Erin Caitlyn Guinan, Mark Andrew Harmon, Craig Evan Hollensbe, Katelynn Carter Kapp, Tori Kay Kirkpatrick, Abigail Catherine Ley, Cameron Joseph McKinney, Chelsie Marie Moser, Francisco Ochoa, Jr., Kelly Marie Pearson, Tyler Christian Pedersen, Suneet Kaur Sandhu, Kimberly Jane Scott, David Joseph Stephens, Joel Daniel Webster.