2008-06-26 / Schools

Indian Hills students say goodbye to Calabasas campus

By Stephanie Bertholdo bertholdo@theacorn.com

WENDY PIERRO/Acorn Newspapers REASON TO CELEBRATE- Indian Hills High School graduating senior Lindsey McCauley reacts to receiving a scholarship at the school's graduation ceremony last week. WENDY PIERRO/Acorn Newspapers REASON TO CELEBRATE- Indian Hills High School graduating senior Lindsey McCauley reacts to receiving a scholarship at the school's graduation ceremony last week. The 35 seniors who graduated this year from Indian Hills High School will be the last group of students to celebrate their commencement at the Calabasas campus- for a while at least.

The Las Virgenes Unified School District, in a move to offset state budget cuts, has leased the Calabasas campus to a private school for the next three years.

Indian Hills, an alternative high school for at-risk students, will move its operations to Agoura High School this fall.

The June 18 graduation ceremony was staged on the school lawn. With music produced by the students playing in the background, the graduates lined up in their red caps and gowns, ready to celebrate their achievements and move on to the next phase of their lives.

Lindsey McCauley, 18, presented the commencement address. A student at the school since 2005, McCauley said that, with support and encouragement from teachers and administrators, she received a grant to attend the West Valley Occupational Center while taking classes Indian Hills. She is now a certified aesthetician.

"They trusted me to do what I said I was going to do," McCauley said.

Regarding the upcoming move, McCauley said that during its 30-year history the school has been successful in many locations, including A.E. Wright Middle School in Agoura Hills.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what (the school) is called or where it is located," McCauley said. "The school has had a pulse for 30 years. The heart of Indian Hills High School must remain beating."

Dana Ladd and Daniel Spark were given scholarships from the Westlake Village Rotary Club. The Westlake Women's Club gave $400 scholarships to Thomas Evens and Noah Hagel.

Karen Gregor and Brooke Nowacki were the recipients of scholarships from the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce, and Calabasas Custom Catering scholarships went to Edgar Ribachauskas and McCauley.

The Las Virgenes Educators Association's "Future Teacher" scholarship of $1,500 was awarded to Associated Student Body President Diana Tamayo.

Evens won a Creative Writing scholarship, and Rachel Lee earned the Creative Art scholarship.

"I know that you, the class of 2008, will go on to have great personal success in your lives," Principal Jeanette Ober said to the grads.

Las Virgenes Unified School District Board of Education Director Gordon Whitehead said the "one-size-fits-all" public school education "sometimes doesn't work."

"Good things happen here," Whitehead said. "Your success was always the goal."

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