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(SBEVBUJPO MOUNTAINVIEWVOICE MICHELLE LE Los Altos High School seniors celebrate graduating after the commencement ceremony ends, Friday, June 3. ‘Magical’ class of 2011 Savoring the moment LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC CAREER BOOK-ENDED BY HARRY POTTER SERIES By Nick Veronin U nseasonably dreary weather couldn’t darken the mood of Los Altos High School’s 2011 graduating class, who made up for the lack of blue skies at their commencement ceremony last Friday by donning bright cerulean caps and gowns, and hearing a series of optimistic speeches given by students, faculty and district administration. About 344 Los Altos seniors marched up into the bleachers lining the east side of Tom Burt Field and the encircling Leo Long Track at about 6:15 p.m. on June 3, to bid farewell to their alma mater, as family and friends looked on. “High school wasn’t a perfect experience for all of us,” said Erika Schonher, graduating senior and mistress of ceremonies. She surmised that many in her graduating class had suffered from “broken bones, broken hearts” or “broken dreams” — maybe even all three — during their four years in high school. And yet, even though some of her painful experiences may still sting, Schonher remained positive about moving forward. “Embarrassment,” she said, “is nothing but the beginning of a funny story.” Principal Wynne Satterwhite kicked off the ceremony with a speech recalling the very first Harry Potter book, published back in June of 1997, when most in the class of 2011 were on cusp of entering kindergarten. With the final movie being released in July, the series of fantasy books and films fits almost perfectly over the graduating class’ time in elementary, middle and high school. Satterwhite thought it fitting to reflect on a few of her favorite passages from the novels, which follow a group of budding sorcerers learning the ins and outs of hocus-pocus during their formative years at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. “We don’t study magic here,” Satterwhite acknowledged. Even so, the material she quoted from J.K. Rowling’s books was no less poignant. Moving through a series of quotes — “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but it takes a great deal more to stand up to your friends,” and, “It does not do well to dwell on the dreams of others” — Satterwhite told the class that they will face many hard choices down the road, but that they should not let the fear of making a wrong choice prevent them from moving forward with purpose. “Select wisely,” she said, “but select.” See LAHS, page 22 SENIORS AT MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH TRY NOT TO SWEAT THE FUTURE By Nick Veronin M ountain View High School’s 2011 senior class is aware that they are graduating into uncertain times. The economy is still faltering, the job market is shaky and the price of a higher education is growing each year. “We have spent four years waiting for this night,” graduating senior Sonia Ibrahimkhail said in a speech to her fellow classmates. “But I think I can speak on behalf of this entire graduating class when I say that we are scared. Overwhelmed. Wishing it hadn’t gone by so quickly.” But as (number) students of the 2011 class, clad in black caps and gowns, took to the bleachers at Carl Anderson Field for their commencement ceremony, speakers Ibrahimkhail and William Beare encouraged their fellow classmates to put aside concerns about what tomorrow may bring, at least for the night. “Let’s stop worrying about the future and how successful we want to be,” Ibrahimkhail said. “Let’s get carried away and caught up in this wonderful feeling of great achievement.” Beare, who co-wrote the speech with Ibrahimkhail, said that he wanted to deliver a speech that was positive, without sounding trite or naive. Though he knows the world is in the midst of a particularly trying period, he believes that the education he received at Mountain View High School will give him the tools to tackle any challenge he comes across. “I am incredibly grateful to go to a school like Mountain View High School,” Beare said. “It was a great place to grow up and a great place to get a high school education.” That said, Beare says he does think about the state of the economy. “It’s important for every high school graduate to be realistic about the world they are coming into,” he said. “I feel fear as a person who is involved in the rest of the world.” But, as far as his future is concerned, he feels secure. Beare’s positive outlook even extended to the gray clouds which hung over the graduation ceremony. With friends and family in the Pacific Northwest that he visits on a regular basis, and because of his appreciation of the mild temperatures often experienced in the Bay Area, Beare said he was almost glad that the sun didn’t make an appearance, as it would have made his all-black wardrobe See MVHS, page 23 JUNE 10, 2011 ■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■ 21

Mountain View Voice 06.10.2011 - Section 2

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