Close to 3,000 graduates from Whittier Union High School District schools celebrated commencement this June in ceremonies that focused on the positive aspects of achievement and the importance of working hard to attain future goals in college and careers.
“It’s time to put our memories behind us, as we make way for the new adventures that life has to offer,” said Thalia Nguyen, one of La Serna High School’s valedictorians, during her commencement speech to her classmates. “Many of us are going to be continuing our education, while others may be entering the workforce, but what links us together is that we are graduating. And that is something to truly be happy about.”
Commencement ceremonies were held for graduates from California, Frontier, La Serna, Pioneer, Santa Fe, Sierra Vista and Whittier high schools and the Whittier Adult School. In their speeches, principals encouraged students to remain optimistic about their futures, despite the nation’s economic uncertainties.
“While some graduates across the nation may be fearful of our current economic crisis, for high school graduates – this can be your lucky time if you seize the opportunities!” Whittier High School Principal Lori Eshilian said to the 484 graduates assembled before her in the historic Vic Lopez Auditorium. “While there are not many job options right now, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your education.
“In just a few years, when this economy turns around, and when my generation retires, you will be ready and the opportunities will be many!” she said.
Parents, friends and family joined teachers, staff, administrators, members of the Whittier Union Board of Trustees and representatives from local elementary school districts to congratulate Whittier Union’s seniors on achieving their high school diplomas.
Whittier Union High School District graduates will be attending prestigious universities such as Caltech, Stanford, USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Whittier College, Loyola Marymount, and most of University of California and California State University systems’ schools.
“Commencement week is one of my favorite times of the year because it gives us an opportunity to gather as a community and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of our graduates and of our faculty and staff,” said Sandra Thorstenson, Superintendent of the Whittier Union High School District. “Our entire WUHSD family works together to support our students in achieving their high school diplomas and to set them on a path toward post-secondary education.”