HANFORD — After a long summer vacation, students, teachers and administrators from Sierra Pacific High School were back Thursday morning for the start of a new school year.

For seniors, the start of the school year can seem bittersweet as they look to finish the last of their high school journey and prepare for what comes next, including college applications and scholarships. For freshmen, it's the beginning of their time to make their mark in high school. 

Juan Escobedo, a senior at Sierra Pacific High School, is already thinking of the road ahead, and hopes to finish his senior year strong. He is not a 4.0 student, but jokes that maybe this year will be the year.

“I just want to do the best that I can do and maybe I can try and get as many awards as I can for my last year,” said Escobedo.  “I’ll try to accomplish a 4.0 GPA, get all my homework turned in on time and just make the best out of my year.”

Escobedo won’t be graduating as valedictorian or anything like that, but he is a bright kid trying his best to work and hopes to leave some sort of legacy behind, an impression that others will be able to remember him for.

“I’m getting ready to finish my year, and hearing that senior year is the fastest year that you are going to have but also the best year, it makes me a little nervous,” said Escobedo.  “A lot of people know who I am but with a lot of the freshmen coming in, I want to leave my impression on them. I procrastinated too much my freshman year. …I did that too much and that's going to lead to a bad situation.”

For others like Mason Kane, a freshman at Sierra Pacific, this year is just the beginning.

“I’m dreading English. I’m pretty bad at English,” said Kane. “But it's going to be exciting. It's a new experience, and I’m just happy to figure out what’s different and what's coming.”

He is looking forward to playing in the band; would like try out for the baseball team as an outfielder and a guard for the basketball team.

Among the newcomers at Sierra Pacific is Principal Darin Parson, who will start his first year at Sierra Pacific after serving for five years as principal at Hanford West High School.

“I’m familiar with being a principal, just not at Sierra Pacific,” Parson said.

Parson is already working toward plans to increase school spirit.

“We want to continue working on our culture, our involvement, school activities, having our participation level increase,” said Parson. “We're doing a good job already, but we would always like to see more.”

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