Hesperia Unified's class of 2012 has its final 39 members.


The district's summer school program graduated students from Canyon Ridge, Hesperia, Mojave, Oak Hills and Sultana High Schools in a short ceremony Friday evening in Hesperia High's gymnasium.


"I want you to think of this diploma that you're receiving today as a key," summer school principal Michael Everett told the graduates. During the rest of the school year, Everett serves as a vice-principal at Hesperia High. "A key that stays in your pocket or in your key chain or on your dresser will never open anything. You must put it to work."


Students attended summer school for a variety of reasons, the speakers told the audience members filling the bleachers: Some were doing remedial work, others wanted to graduate early.


"Thirteen years of school, 18 years of life and just one day to graduate," student speaker Candice Figueroa said, reminiscing. "I wouldn't trade my high school experience for anything."


Superintendent Mark McKinney praised the graduates.


"I am so proud of all of you," he said. "Whether you spent summer school catching up or getting ahead, I'm glad you stuck it out."


The graduating class included eight students from Hesperia High School, six from Sultana High School, three from Oak Hills High School, 17 from Canyon Ridge High School and five from Mojave High School.


"Class of 2012, we did it!" Figueroa cheered.


Beau Yarbrough may be rached at (760) 956-7108 or at Beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.