The Golden Valley High School community, parents and graduates cheered on the school’s 13th graduating class during the school’s 2019 commencement ceremony Thursday.
With every seat in the 7,500-person capacity stadium filled, leaving dozens of cheering onlookers to stand, 470 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diploma from Hart District Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht.
Golden Valley Principal Sal Frias used his time at the podium to recognize the feats of some of the athletes in the class, some of the exceptional students, as well as Joshua Santiago, who had perfect attendance all through his time at La Mesa Jr. High School and Golden Valley. He also outlined four points for students which included practicing discipline, embracing diversity and having personal responsibility, passion and empathy.
“Drive combined with empathy are qualities that will separate you from others,” said Frias. “Imagine the impact of these four points when you venture into your new communities, workplaces and future schools.”
A total of 85 students would graduate with honors as speeches were given by ASB President Samantha Scaglione, valedictorian Valerie Peña and senior speaker Jimmy Warshawsky.
Common college choices for the Grizzlies class of 2019 included University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Diego and University of California Santa Barbara.
In his speech titled “The Series Finale,” Warshawsky took time to not only recognize his class, but all those who had helped him and his friends get to that point.
“It’s the end of us attending the Golden Valley, the end of high school,” said Warshawsky. “This is not, however, the end of friendships or the memories that we’ve all made together over these last four years. Those are sure to live on for a very long time. The end of high school careers marks the start of our adult lives.”
“Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything,” said Warshawsky. “This is our shot, aim as high as you possibly can and never throw your shot away. Because I know each one of you have the potential to make incredible things happen.”