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Class Of 2019 Says Goodbye To MVHS

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Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 12:38 pm

Pomp and Circumstance rings throughout the MVHS football field. The students begin their walk, decorated in green and white gowns. Their tassels hang from the right side of their caps, eagerly waiting to be moved to the left. Cheers of joy and pride from loving family members and friends can be heard from the sidelines. Almost 400 seniors from the Mar Vista Class of 2019 take their seats, and the graduation ceremony begins.

On June 5, the seniors of MVHS officially graduated high school. The ceremony began with the presentation of the colors by the NJROTC Color Guard, led by Chief Joseph Green. Next, the ASB President Jennifer Tapia led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Christina Hernandez gave a beautiful performance of the National Anthem. The principal of Mar Vista, Bettina Batista, welcomed friends, family, staff, and students. She honored retired staff members in attendance, and then gave the stage to Mayor Serge Dedina. He gave a brief speech congratulating the graduating class, and encouraging them to pursue their dreams after high school.

Next, it was time to honor the students. As mentioned previously, the students were dressed in green and white gowns. The nearly 60 students decorated in white were members of the California Scholarship Federation. They gained their membership by maintaining academic excellence over the course of multiple semesters. Shizuka Baker and Gisela Wolfe run the CSF program at MVHS, unfortunately Wolfe was not able to attend the graduation ceremony this year, so Michael Crawford stood in her place. Together, he and Baker spoke, honoring the CSF Seal Bearers.

Following this, it was time for the Salutatorian and Valedictorian to deliver their speeches. This year’s Salutatorian was Selena Fausto. She addressed the class, talking about their experiences leading up to this moment. She said, “We made it through every experience high school threw at us. The break ups and make ups. The lost friends and the gained friends. The rejection letters and acceptance letters. Failure was one of the most important of those experiences. The frustration and disappointment we felt during those failed tests and lost games and even failed classes. It taught us so much and made us better, it brought us success. Because we aced that next test, and we won that next game, and we passed that class. Embracing our failures made us stronger and brought us to graduation.” Next, it was the Valedictorian Cynthia Yamileth Marmolejo Muriel’s turn to give her speech. She detailed the hardships that she faced moving to the USA from Mexico when she was twelve years old. She talked about the trials of learning a new language, and the difficulty of having to adjust to such a new place. However, despite all of the things she had to go through, she managed to reach her goals and do it with flying colors. She thanked Mar Vista for the experiences it gave her, and she thanked the class for their hard work and support.

The Mar Vista counselors then took the time to recognize a few more students. They recognized the students awarded the Biliteracy, Golden State, and Honors seals. They honored Stephanie Felix, who was awarded the Carson Scholars Fund. They also recognized students with athletic honors. Zachary Hastings, Damon Thomas, Emily Leslie, and Aurora Santillan were all Athletes of the Year. Lauren Wold and Jeremy Longworth were the Mar Vista Student Athletes of the Year. Batista presented the Class of 2019, and Board Member Paula Hall accepted them.

Finally it was time to hand out the diplomas. The students walked onto the stage as their names were read aloud. They shook the hands of the teachers who guided them along the path that led them to where they were now. They exchanged heartwarming hugs with staff members and peers. Smiles gleamed on the faces of the graduates. Senior Class President Marcus Ramirez led the Tassel Ceremony, and cheers were heard from all around as the students moved their tassels. Caps flew into the air, and just like that the ceremony was over, and the students were officially at the beginning of the next chapter of their lives.

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