OAKLAND -- Six of Skyline High School's stellar seniors graduated June 12.

Olivia Ports and Ella Pearson have been best friends since they were 3. Both credit the Skyline instrumental music program and director Vincent Tolliver for providing opportunities to perform with the Jazz Band and, in Ella's case, leadership as student director of the Pit Band for "Skyline's spring musical "Dreamgirls."

Both will attend the Berkelee College of Music in Boston this fall. Both are grateful to

their music teachers, Ella's piano teacher, Andrea Simms, and Olivia's drum teacher, Jeremy Steinkoler.

Tammy Huynh will matriculate at Vassar College, majoring in philosophy and biology. She was inspired to apply to an elite private school by Vinh Trinh, Skyline's principal and a Harvard graduate, and Jeff Seidl and Andrew Wong-Rolle, Skyline graduates attending Harvard.

She is looking forward to Vassar's opportunities.

Anna Xu is off to Brown University in the fall, made possible by a Brown University scholarship and earning the Jenny Franchot Prize. She aspires to earn a master's degree in applied mathematics and perform research in particle physics.

She would love to study abroad in Germany, research time, string theory, loop quantum gravity and black holes.


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Marisol De Anda Martinez recently won the Steve Silver Beach Blanket Babylon $10,000 Scholarship for the Arts in the field of voice.

A soprano who sang "Blonde Teasing Aria" from Mozart's opera "The Abduction From the Seraglio," she cites the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra, Daisy Newman and voice teacher James Meredith for making it possible for her to strive toward excellence, and her parents who are her biggest fans and whose sacrifices have enabled her to succeed.

At Skyline, she was a member of the computer academy. She is looking forward to attending San Jose State University and hopes to transfer to the University of Michigan.

Michael Wong, bound for University of Pennsylvania at Wharton on a full Gates Millenium Scholarship and local Henry J. Bianchi Scholarship, believes he has been able to take advantage of Skyline's offerings by using the Youth Center to give him essay feedback.

Michael dreams of his own business someday, making a positive change in the world through innovative technologies, and starting a non-profit to benefit underserved students.

-- Jocelyn Wong-Rolle

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