Community Celebrates Graduation Day

Posted by on Jun 6th, 2013 and filed under Mobile, News, Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Mary O’KEEFE The Crescenta Valley High School commencement ceremony was held on its own track and field on Tuesday allowing seniors to walk the stage for the first time in a long time on their own campus.

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
The Crescenta Valley High School commencement ceremony was held on its own track and field on Tuesday allowing seniors to walk the stage for the first time in a long time on their own campus.

Hundreds of students across the Crescenta Valley said goodbye to those they’ve known for the last several years and prepare to move on to the next level in their lives.

Many foothills kids slept in on Wednesday after a Tuesday that marked the beginning of summer break as graduation/promotion ceremonies were celebrated across the Crescenta Valley.

Seniors at Clark Magnet and Crescenta Valley high schools walked across the stage, received their diploma (well, at least the cover for the diploma) and toward their future.

David Khachatrian was named Clark’s valedictorian, one of 254 graduates who ended their four-year academic career at the high performing magnet school.

At CVHS, it was all about new traditions beginning, including a change in leadership.

Richard Cho was selected as the CVHS valedictorian and was part of history that started with the Class of 2013 commencement ceremony taking place on the school’s Osborne Field. Though having the school graduation on the school field may have seem like a natural choice, for years CVHS seniors and their families had to travel from home in order for graduates to walk the stage.

Principal Michele Doll credited seniors Jillian Kauffman and Taylor Berns with bringing the commencement to the home field.

“They came to me with a [request] that brought tears to my eyes,” Doll said of the pair’s appeal for the ceremony to be brought onto the campus.

However, the student body had to raise a part of the money – which was about $10,000 – to bring in the bleachers, barricades and chairs in order to host the affair. It is actually cheaper to have the event off campus, but the seniors wanted to have it at home, like other schools. The funds were raised and the rest, as they say, is history.

Blue skies greeted graduates, families and friends.

“The weather was perfect,” said Lisa Reed, assistant principal who was also in charge of organizing the new tradition. “I think it went well.”

This being the first commencement celebration on the field and the first one on campus in years, there were some hiccups. The general consensus was a more controlled audience area was needed. During the ceremony, some parents wandered onto the field to take photos of their senior and some stood in front of those who were sitting in the stands, obscuring their view.

Security asked the visitors to move away from the front of the bleachers and, Reed said, for the most part they followed the request without issue.

There was a bit of an issue at the end of the event, though, when graduates attempted to line up to exit the field and parents and onlookers mingled with them.

But the fact that it was on the home field was worth the few issues.

“We know how beautiful our campus is,” Reed said.

The commencement setting highlighted the field surrounded by mountains and trees.

“This is such a beautiful spot, it was a perfect evening,” she said. “You can’t help but be happy.”

This was also the biggest class of seniors the school has graduated, Reed said. The class had 760 graduates with 756 attending the ceremony.

Reed hopes that future commencements will be held at the school. To help ensure this, the senior class gift was funding to be applied to future graduation costs.

“Each year a class will have leftover money in their account,” Reed said. “This year the class gift is to roll over that money into a graduation account and [hopefully] begin a foundation for next year’s class.”

It is hoped that future classes will contribute year after year to help with the fund.

“It would be lovely if we could have the [commencement ceremony] here every year,” Reed added.

As the new tradition began, the Class of 2013 said goodbye to their principal of three years.

Doll said the ceremony for her was bittersweet as it was the last commencement she would oversee as the CVHS principal. She had a long history with the Class of 2013 as many were in eighth grade when she was principal of Rosemont Middle School.

Doll hugged each senior as they received their diploma and walked down the stairs back to their seat.

There was also a bit of bittersweet emotion at Rosemont Middle School as well. Ann Amrhein, assistant principal for 18 years at Rosemont, will be leaving.

“She will be going to another Glendale school,” said Dr. Cynthia Livingston, Rosemont principal. What Glendale school she’ll be going to has yet to be announced.

“Ann has been a pillar in the community and has put in 18 years of hard work, love and dedication at Rosemont. She has earned the respect of parents, students and teachers,” Livingston said.

Whatever school Amrhein will end up in should be decided by the June 18 Glendale school board meeting. She, along with new principals at Monte Vista Elementary and Crescenta Valley High schools, are expected to be in place by July 1.

Rosemont’s promotion ceremony was held Tuesday morning and although students who addressed the audience shared their excitement of moving on, they also a expressed a sadness at leaving the staff and principal of their school.

Over 600 kids were promoted and are on their way to high school. The eighth grade class presented the class gift to Principal Dr. Cynthia Livingston – a mascot costume for their Spartan teams.

Livingston has been a strong proponent of school sports that are funded through donations. She happily accepted the gift then joked with Assistant Principal Ron Sowers.

“Ron, they got a costume for you to wear,” Livingston said. “Isn’t that great?”

Overall, those who were promoted or graduated were happy to move forward and yet were reflective. CVHS Lauren Lee’s senior address expressed it best.

“Before you walk across the stage and the rest of our lives, just stop and enjoy this moment and take a deep breath,” she said.

Photos by Leonard COUTIN, Mary OKEEFE, Charly SHELTON & Robin GOLDSWORTHY


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