SPHS Class of 2024 bids farewell at graduation

Story by Clementine Evans
Online Managing Editor

Photos by Sunhye (Sunny) Choi, Emiko Essmiller, Kaitlyn Lee
Staff Photographer, Photography Editor, Staff Photographer

The Class of 2024 graduation ceremony was held on Roosevelt Field at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, where SPHS teachers, Flower Chain, and graduating seniors filed into the rows of white chairs on the field as the SPHS band played.

Senior Class President Charlotte Dekle began the ceremony by introducing Senior Class Vice President Rowan Smith, who led the salute to the flag. Seniors Christiana Chang and Vivian Yu followed by singing the national anthem. 

Senior Noble Jones was the first speaker of the ceremony. In his speech, “How did we survive that?”, he used the comparison of high school and the experience of getting mauled by a bear to talk about the past four years of their high school experience.

Senior Lillian Sherman’s speech, “What now?”, pondered the future and what will happen now that high school is over. Sherman talked about living with fear while being ready and confident in life and being kind to others in an unkind world.

“I was motivated at last year’s graduation,” Sherman said. “I was in flower chain and [I] saw Sam Grotenstein speak with passion and he delivered an important message, so I wanted to do the same.”

Following the first two speeches, Senior Class Secretary Hanna Bae introduced the SPUSD dignitaries, who included Superintendent Dr. Geoff Yantz, Board Member Dr. Patricia Martinez-Miller, and Board President Karissa Adams. Senior Class Treasurer Ian Chang then presented the class gift, donating funds to the restoration of the SAC room. 

SPHS Principal John Eldred then addressed the graduating class. His speech spoke of firsts and lasts, discussed the future to come, and emphasized that these SPHS students are part of a long tradition of graduates who are in a family. 

Adams then certified the graduation of the Class of 2024, and Dekle began reading the names of the 315 graduating seniors. One by one, they walked up on stage to receive their diplomas. 

Following the graduates’ receipt of their diplomas, senior Commissioner of Academics Katherine Tam announced the valedictorian, Linus Sun, and the salutatorian, Ryan Estanislao. 

Smith closed out the ceremony with the Alma Mater and farewell as the graduates moved their tassels and threw up their caps to the song “Tongue Tied,” marking the end of their high school careers. 

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