Seventy-seven seniors wearing black caps and gowns, set off by cords of various colors, walked along the track Friday evening at Westwood Panther Stadium to ceremonially mark a milestone in their young adult lives — graduation from high school.
As the band blared familiar notes of “Pomp and Circumstance,” graduates' friends and families filed into the stands, while the sun showed its support by painting their outdoor ceiling in soft hues of lavender and coral, per the sunset.
Graduates in the top ten percentile of their class participated in the ceremony.
Following the pledge of allegiance led by Courtney Stanhope, Natali Muniz kicked off the event by welcoming those in attendance, with words of introduction and gratitude.
“For those of you who do not know our class very well, you should know that we are a class of great confidence, energetic, intelligent and insanely outgoing,” Muniz said. “However, we would not quite be who we are today without the help of our teachers.”
Additionally, Muniz thanked families for the role they played in students' lives.
“Without you, none of this would have been possible,” she said.
In her faculty choice address, Faith Dingas too thanked parents, adding she “wouldn't be here today” if it weren’t for them — “literally and figuratively.” Dingas then encouraged her classmates to dig deep and discover their talents, and to unleash them on the world.
“We all have hopes and dreams,” she said. “So take this time to reflect on who you have become these past few years. Learn what you're good at, and use it.”
In her salutatorian address, Eunice Casas implored her fellow classmates to “enjoy your life.”
“Do not let graduating high school be your only accomplishment in life,” she said. “There is an entire lifetime ahead of you. Do something with it. I recommend you be a contribution to your society and help others — it has been said that being selfless is the best thing you can do for yourself.”