Lemoore High class ring, lost for 24 years, found by Island School fourth grade student and returned to thankful owner

By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Adam Terronez (left) with Tyler Sollars and State Senator Andy Vidak representative Rogelio Caudillo.
Adam Terronez (left) with Tyler Sollars and State Senator Andy Vidak representative Rogelio Caudillo.

Little did he know that while digging in his aunt’s back yard a couple of months ago, fourth-grade Island School student Tyler Sollars would find a Lemoore High School class ring that would end up leading him on a strange and satisfying journey, an Odyssey that ended just a couple of days ago with him receiving a letter of recognition from a state senator and a heartfelt message of thanks from a former LHS student.

Turns out that the former student – doing some really dumb stuff teenagers tend to do at the age of 16 – managed to lose his relatively new class ring on a dark night 24 years ago in the Island District. The student, Adam Terronez, thanks to the inquisitive fourth-grader, finally got his ring back, and on Thursday, in a presentation at Island School, Tyler in turn found himself the proud recipient of a Certificate in Recognition of Integrity from State Senator Andy Vidak.

Adam Terronez with class ring, a ring he probably thought he'd never see again.
Adam Terronez with class ring, a ring he probably thought he'd never see again.

He also got another round of thanks from Adam, who was also on hand for the presentation at Island School. Vidak’s representative, Rogelio Caudillo and Terronez, met with Sollars and and presented him with the Certificate.

The presentation was made just before the school’s annual Talent Show so all the students, teachers, staff and parents were on hand for the presentation.

The ring was in miraculously good condition, considering it had been sitting outside the past 24 years. The number 24, which was Adam’s number in football and baseball, was inscribed on the ring and his name was also inscribed on the inside of the ring.

“It is incredible that the ring looks exactly the same as it did 24 years ago,” said Terronez, “even down to the purple and gold paint on the ring. The fact that there was not a smidgen of corrosion or water damage to the ring is really amazing.”

And Terronez should know. When not misplacing his ring, he is a Cal Poly grad and a geotechnical engineer who deals a lot with soils. He works and lives in Bakersfield. So if anybody knows how soil can ruin a nice ring, it would be him.

Unfortunately, Terronez isn’t wearing the ring. It’s a bit small for him now. Interestingly enough, it was too big for his finger when he last saw it at the age of 16.

The day he lost it, he didn’t realize it was lost until later that night. “We tried looking for it the next day. I was 16 and my mom was really upset at me. I only had the ring for about two weeks.”

Terronez graduated from Lemoore High in 1993 and considers Lemoore a great place and says that more people like Tyler should be recognized for the good work that they do. When Tyler returned the ring in April, Terronez wrote him a nice thank you letter.

When he originally found the ring in the back yard of his aunt, Michelle Wood - who coincidentally is a teacher at Lemoore High School - Tyler didn’t waste any time. He immediately took the ring to his “Nana” and mom, Michelle’s sister Kristie, and within a day or so they and fellow LHS 1994 alum Nicole Irigary, found Terronez on Facebook. It was Tyler’s grandmother who gave the ring to Adam’s mother-in-law (they both work at Island School) who in turn returned it to Adam while he was visiting Lemoore during the Easter break.

Michelle Wood remembers when Tyler found the ring. She was watching him at her house and he came to her all excited. “He came in to see me and said that he had found a ring.” When she took a closer look she observed that it was an LHS ring. Wood also attended Lemoore High School.

The two took it to Tyler’s mother who cleaned it up and with the help of Irigary, found Terronez.

“I hadn’t thought about that ring for 15 years,” said Terronez. “Tyler and his family are great examples of the citizens that call the Central Valley home,” said Terronez.


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