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Walnut High Class of 2021 Takes a Final Bow
WALNUT, CA—Walnut High School celebrated 569 seniors wearing caps and gowns (and face masks) during the 51st Commencement held in the Ken Gunn Stadium on May 27.
After 14 months of uncertainty, the in-person ceremonies ignited emotions of hopeful reflection and acknowledgment of a promising future.
“Hey, we did it!” exclaimed Class President Destiny Trujillo of the long-awaited graduation celebration.
“No one can take away this feeling of pure relief, achievement, and joy radiating through all of us right now.”
“You earned this, you deserve this, so bask in the bliss!”
The Class of 2021 will forever be remembered for enduring their entire senior year in remote learning due to the pandemic.
“We have gone through unprecedented times together,” Senior Grade Level Coordinators Viviana Hoyos and Sonia Nunez shared during their message.
“This year, you have all exceeded our expectations and proved how adaptable, innovative, and resilient you are.”
The 6 p.m. ceremony followed strict health and safety protocols with students assembled in a socially-distanced formation on the football field with a limited number of family members in attendance.
Entertainment featured the “Pomp and Circumstance” processional by Walnut High’s Blue Thunder band and “We Are Here” by the Chamber Singers choir - the ensemble’s only in-person performance of the school year.
Declaring that she was a time traveler, senior Isabel Rojas apologized for not warning fellow classmates about “their very unusual senior year.”
“So, let me make it up to you!” she said offering some advice to steer graduates in the right direction.
“Spend your time efficiently and wisely, do not dwell in the past, and the opportunity to achieve greatness is always within our grasp.”
Graduation candidates erupted in laughter as Principal Dr. Ryan Maine reminisced about trends that drove their families nuts like Bieber Fever, “Watch Me” (Whip/Nae Nae), fidget spinners, Pokemon Go, and Dabbing.
“Trends come and go, but your journey never stops,” he said.
“Today marks the end of a great chapter in your life – enjoy this moment right now in front of your friends and families. From here, life moves way too quickly - trust me!”
Maine told the group clad in head-to-toe powder blue to enjoy each minute and appreciate the simple milestones.
“So much is ahead of you and we are excited to see where life will take you!”
Valedictorians achieved academic perfection by earning an “A” in every class. Congratulations to the following students graduating with highest honors: Serena Chan, Ethan Cheng, Anali Cruz, Jianhao Cui, Shanyilin Jin, Prabhleen Kaur, Sabrina Li, Elsie Lin, James Lin, Sean Matsubara, Satvik Muddana, Megan Nguyen Bui, Ethan Park, Landon Park, Maximilian Pollalis, Liza Romero, Kangning Song, Sophia Song, Steven Zhang, Chuqin Zhao, Ziguang Zhu.
Congratulations to the following International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Candidates who have completed the rigorous academic program recognized by the world’s leading universities: Charlene Chan, Kimi Chen, Alicia Chong, Kayla Hao, Kenneth Hung, Jessie Ji, Matthew Jiang, Michelle Jiang, Prabhleen Kaur, Xi Yao (Esther) Li, Elsie Lin, Karen Lu, Satvik Muddana, Ethan Park, Landon Park, Dartanian Sloan, Robert Sloan, Jayden Soriano, Alessi Tran, Mia Tran, Claire Wang, Angeline Widjono. IBCP: Brian Edbert, Edward Garcia, Owen Hsieh, Tiffany Lin, Stephen Liu, Briana Nguyen, Ashley Sagahon-Ramirez, Yadel Thomas, Giuliana Mae Umali, Caden Yip.