May 2020 Newsletter

Atwater High School Alumni Association, Inc.

                             A California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation    IRS Tax #82-2320646


Atwater Alumni Association May 2020 Newsletter

2020 Atwater High School Alumni Association Scholarship Recipients.

It is with great pride that the Atwater High School Alumni Association announces the recipients of the 2020 Legacy Scholarship. This is the third year AHSAA has presented this award. The award is presented to AHS students who have a parent, grandparent or guardian who attended AHS.

As in previous years we had many deserving candidates, it speaks to the quality of our high school that so many outstanding seniors applied for the scholarship. We want to recognize and thank all the parents, grandparents and friends who contributed to the success of these students.

We want to thank all the alumni and friends who donated to the association during the last year and a special thanks to the Class of 1969 50th Year Reunion group who made a generous donation to the program. All donations to the association go into the fund to support these scholarships. With the help of our alumni community we hope to continue and increase this scholarship program into the future. Falcons Forever!

Jessica Arias

Jessica has attended AHS for four years. She is a member of the Biology Club, Internet Cub and California Scholarship Federation. She was a member of the Soccer, Cross Country and Track and Field teams. She participated in several community service programs throughout her time at AHS.

Jessica’s teachers commented on her dedication to her education and her natural leadership ability. They mentioned her work ethic in both her athletic and classroom efforts. In her letter Jessica commented that she has learned that little accomplishments are more rewarding than trophies, and that one of her goals is to create things that people will appreciate and use.

She will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a goal to study architectural engineering.

Jessica’s mother is an AHS graduate

Amethyst Cooksey

Amethyst attended AHS for three years. She has been involved in the Class Leadership Program, FFA, and Varsity Cheerleading at AHS. She was involved in several community service projects including the Merced College Field of Honor.

Amethyst’s teachers indicated that she has a strong willingness to learn and to tackle any task that is assigned. They commented on her goals and her interest in science and strong belief in her ability to succeed in her future efforts. In her letter Amethyst outlined her journey to the point in her life and her strong desire to become in involved in veterinary medicine.

She will be attending Merced College with a goal to become a veterinarian. 

Amethyst’s father is a graduate of AHS.

Colby Flatt

Colby attended AHS for four years. He was very active in a number of school programs including FFA, Trap Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes severing as both Vice President and President. He was a member of the Falcon baseball team, playing varsity for three years and won a number of awards for his play and leadership.

Colby’s teachers mentioned his positive attitude and take-charge approach to any challenge. His work ethic was a consistent comment and his willingness to help both his teachers and his fellow classmates was a constant theme. In his letter Colby was specific in noting that he has never let his failures define him and take pride in his work ethic. He complimented his teachers and mentors in their impact on his life and his pride in being an Atwater High School alumnus.

He is planning on attending the Northwest Lineman College in Denton Texas with a goal of going into the electronics industry upon graduation.

Colby’s mother is a graduate of AHS.


To: Class of 2020,

It was not supposed to be like this. You spent 13 years, starting with those first uncertain days of Kindergarten, then moving into the unknown of middle school and changing classes with different teachers, and finally progressing from those scary first moments as a freshman through the maze to finally to reach the Senior’s Rule pinnacle. Not being to go out in a traditional manner, hugging your classmates and attending all those fun activities that you worked for and looked forward too doesn’t seem fair. And it isn’t. Welcome to one of the first hard lessons of life, sorry it had to come so soon.

But long after the disappointment, and even some anger, of the current moment diminishes you will still have something special. You and you classmates will have an event that will bond you forever, not many classes can say that. Not many classes have faced real adversity, oh some may think that raining on the graduation night or the senior trip being cancelled was a crisis, but you all have faced the real thing.

And you know what, watching the response online by all of you, the staff at your school and many of your supporters in the community, you have stood up to this adversity and prevailed. You have been challenged in a way no class in history has been challenged. You can wear this as a badge of courage throughout your upcoming years and during all the story telling at future reunions.

As you move to the next stage of life, continue to look forward, your time and experiences at Atwater High School have prepared you for what is next, and there is so much more next in your lives that we all envy you and the journey you will start from this point forward. You have made your parents, families, and friends proud of you, and while the celebration may be tempered those feelings are not.

To the parents, grandparents, guardians, families and friends who have supported you and are cheering for you at this time, thanks for what you have done and for your impact on the wonderful students who graduate at this time. To all those teachers and educational staff members, from that first teacher during the scary day of kindergarten to your last virtual high school class, thank you for all you do. Especially to the staff at AHS for their efforts over the last few months as you have blazed a new trail that no one could have imagined a short time ago.

So, from the Atwater High School Alumni Association and all of the alumni who preceded you, welcome to the club. We welcome you will open arms, a virtual hug, and clapping hands. We all are part of the Class of 2020 today and could not be prouder of you. You again showed the spirt of Falcon Pride, and Falcon Strong and made everyone proud.

Falcons Forever!

Atwater High School Alumni Association


Reunion Updates

The Class of 1970 has announced that due to the current condition they will delay their 50th Year Reunion originally scheduled for Friday July 3, 2020. They are looking at dates in the September time period. So, stay tuned more information to come.

The Class of 1975 has announced that they will hold their 45th Year Reunion on Saturday September 12, 2020. Additional information and sign-up sheet is available on a separate link on the web site.

The Class of 1980 has announced a change in the date of their 40th Year Reunion originally scheduled for Labor Day weekend 2020.The new date will be Labor Day Weekend 2021.  Mark your calendars, more information to come.

The Class of 1990 has established a Facebook group page Atwater High School Class of 1990 30 Year Reunion. A reunion will be held, but due to the current vises conditions an exact date has not been established. Alumni who are interested would like to update on future plans are encouraged to go to the Facebook site.

  • The Class of 2000 Reunion Committee has announced the 20th
  • Year Reunion originally scheduled for June 13, 2020 has been moved to June 19, 2021.  More information to come, mark your calendars. Information available on the Atwater High School Class of 2000 Facebook group page.

A group of alumni is working on organizing a multi class reunion for those who attended AHS from 1958 to 1965. This includes the original class at AHS and the first four-year Senior and Junior classes. They are looking for classmate information in order to contact them. If you were at AHS during this time and are interested in this event, please send your contact information to the association or to Geri Freitas through her Facebook Messenger site.

If your class year ends in a 1 (71, 81, 91, 01, 11). or 6 (66, 76, 86, 96, 06, 16). now would be a great time to organize a committee, have some fun and start planning for a reunion this year.  The Alumni Associate is willing to help, and we have some experts who have had experience in the organizing of these events and will be happy to share some best practices with you.


Milestone Year Events

The following class years are celebrating milestones this year. Here are some interesting things that happened during the months and year they graduated.  There were many interesting events in every month, and these were selected as only one interesting and, in some cases, fun example.


1965 – May 4 – Willie Mays hits his 512th home run breaking Mel Ott’s National League record.

1970 – May 4 – National Guardsmen fired on students at Kent State University, killing 4 and injuring 10.

1975 – May 25 – Glen Campbell release “Rhinestone Cowboy” which goes on to be Billboard’s Song of the Year.

1980 – May 18 – Mt. Saint Helens erupts and blasts 1,300 ft. off the top of the volcano.

1985 – May 26 – Michael Jordon named NBA Rookie of the Year.               

1990 – May 21 – Last episode of “Newhart” airs on CBS.

1995 –  May 27 – Actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after a fall from a horse during a riding competition.  

2000 – May 2 – President Bill Clinton announces the accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the US military.

2005 – May 20 – “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” sets an opening day record with $50 million in receipts.

2010 – May 10 – President Obama nominates Elena Kagan as the youngest and third woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

2015 – Taylor Swift wins eight awards at the Billboard Music Awards including top artist.


Alumni News

  • Special thanks to Class of 1995 member and Olympic medal winner Jamill Kelly for the video he made for the MUHSD to all the 2020 grads. We especially liked the “Just a kid from Atwater” shirt he wore. Another Falcon Pride moment presented by Jamill.
  • Congratulations to Debbie Buchanan Mininger (66) and Larry Mininger (62) on the celebration of their 54th wedding anniversary.
  • Congratulations to Shelly Roth Harris (78) and her husband Mike on their 15th wedding anniversary.
  • Congratulations to Diana Pimentel (82) and Billy Pimentel (77) on the celebration of the 31st wedding anniversary.

Have a life event you would like to share with your alumni friends. You can submit items through the comment section of the website or sending an e-mail to Please include your graduation or years attend and a brief description of your even. Items will be published monthly on the newsletter and website.


AHS News  

  • In the place of the traditional graduation ceremony Atwater High School administration and staff developed a unique experience for this year. On June 3rd and 4th graduates will sign up for a specific time window. They and member of their family will drive into the school and in a quad area a stage will be set up where they can walk across, hear their named called and allow immediate family member to watch and take pictures. The entire process and well and graduation speech’s will be filmed, and a copy of the entire program will be provided to each senior. Thanks to the AHS administration and staff for coming up with a great work around during a difficult time.  Think of the stories these seniors will have to tell during future reunions.