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JUNE 11, 2020

Congratulations

GRADUATES!

“Intelligence plus character ­— that is the goal of true education.” — Martin Luther King Jr.


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Mayfield Honors Traditions and Embraces New Hopes I

n a year of radical change, Mayfield Senior School took a nimble approach when it came to the school’s cherished rites of passage for graduating seniors, honoring old traditions while embracing new ways of celebrating. “I really am grateful for how Mayfield kept up with all their traditions,” said recent graduate Fiona Pan. “It made us feel like still part of the family even though we are apart.” The beloved convention of the Senior Tea, usually shared by mother and daughter in historic Strub Hall, was delivered to family homes instead. Senior Car Decorating, usually a communal laughfest where students announce their intended universities, was transformed into a jubilant car parade, safely traveling through campus. New strategies involved distributing mementos like personalized yard signs and Mayfield pennants as well as more intangible gifts, like the web page curated for the class of 2020 where each senior received a personal note from her Mayfield “little sister” and a tribute from a beloved faculty member. And when it was clear that commencement exercises weren’t possible this year, school leadership distilled the most essential parts of graduation into a socially distanced photo shoot over the

course of five days. The girls wore their white gowns and gloves and received their red roses and Holy Child medallions. They even did their own solo versions of the iconic rose petal toss. The proceedings were recorded and became a graduation video that went live on June 7 at 3 p.m. for a virtual watch party. But the beauty of the proceedings didn’t ignore the history being made around this graduating class — the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement for social justice taking form. However, senior class President Paloma Torres said, “We are no strangers to challenging times.” In her graduation speech, she explained that her parents watched the events of Sept. 11, 2001, unfold and wondered if they wanted to bring children into such an uncertain time. Yet within that year, she (and every member of her class) was born. “We are the children of the post9/11 world. Born despite the fear ... we were born of unknown and we enter the rest of our lives the same way.” Torres added, “We are unafraid because we have each other.” Head of School Kate Morin said: “The class of 2020 shows us what the future could look like. It is filled with kindness, openness, understanding, inclusion and respect. It is filled with love.”

Wanqing (Fiona) Pan, winner of the Mr. and Mrs.Thomas P. Pike Award for the highest four-year academic average, with parents Feng Pan and Jennifer Ma.

Paloma Torres, senior class president and winner of Mayfield’s highest honor, the Cornelia Connelly Award, with parents Tomas and Michelle Torres and brother Camilo.


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Maranatha Celebrates 2020 Graduates at Virtual Commencement O

n the evening of Saturday, May 30, the administration, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees of Maranatha High School celebrated the class of 2020 during their first-ever virtual Commencement Ceremony. This year’s commencement celebration was not a typical ceremony, but then again this has not been a typical spring semester for Maranatha High School because of social distancing measures due to COVID-19. While Maranatha had to cancel its traditional in-person Commencement Ceremony, the school was still thrilled to be honoring its 131 graduates online, marking the completion of the graduates’ four-year college preparatory education. Maranatha’s graduates will be attending a wide variety of excellent colleges and universities, including the University of Southern California, Whitworth University, Loyola Marymount University, Biola University, Azusa Pacific University, UCLA, Baylor University, George Washington University, Fordham University, New York University, Northern Arizona University, Occidental College, Berklee College of Music and many others. Maranatha High School equips students to demonstrate academic excellence, be effective communicators, and be young men and women who are able to model their faith through service for

Christ. Maranatha offers 40 advanced placement and honors courses, and a state-of-the-art Technology Integration Learning Environment (TILE) Lab, which features robotics, 3D printing, VR creation, laser cutting, a Mac design center and PC coding. Maranatha has continually proven to be exceptional in the performing and visual arts as well as competitive in athletics, with CIF and state-level wins. There are many additional opportunities for student involvement, including a wide variety of clubs and service opportunities both locally and globally. As one of the only nondenominational Christian schools in the San Gabriel Valley, Maranatha has a longstanding reputation for providing an excellent college preparatory education in a Christ-centered context. Maranatha is a unique and vibrant community that integrates faith in every aspect of living, learning and serving. This in turn leads to genuine student transformation in both spiritual maturity and growth. Student/teacher supportive relationships are key to the strength of Maranatha’s school community, with students often noting how grateful they are for the mentorship and assistance the staff offers on a daily basis. The community of Maranatha High School congratulates the class of 2020 on all of its accomplishments!

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Clairbourn Grads’ Skills for Success in Life

lairbourn Head of School Dr. Patzlaff’s message for the class of 2020: When I think about this class, your impressive, varied talents come to mind, as well as your ability to navigate surprises, like the switch to remote learning in the middle of the school year. At Clairbourn, you have become specialists in the skills that apply to all games and all situations. We have talked about these skills in our daily Morning Assemblies, and these are the qualities from our Code of Ethics: honesty, respect, responsibility, citizenship and spirituality. These are the skills you need for success in life.

People keep referring to “these uncertain times.” But there is certainty in how you approach your life. You always have the choice to act ethically, and that gives you control in the game and in life. So I wish you all the best because you are prepared with this special secret. Clairbourn is proud of you because, in the end, the medal they will hang around your neck will say you played the game well with honor, and you are scholars and leaders with heart. Clairbourn is a CAIS- and WASCaccredited independent school for preschoolgrade 8. Visit clairbourn.org or call (626) 286-3108.


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College Admissions in the Time of COVID-19

s parents and students prepare for the college admission process this fall, they will encounter a landscape we have never encountered before, and systems filled with uncertainty. So much is changing. Standardized testing requirements have been suspended by the University of California but not by all universities; the Cal State system will institute remote learning in the fall, yet not all universities have determined their plan of action, and universities are examining the financial impact of COVID and determining which budgets to cut. Complex decisions being made daily will affect the class of 2021 in unexpected ways. As I reflect on my experiences working in university admissions (Stanford and USC) as well as in high school college counseling offices (Poly and Prep), I understand that these are going to be stressful times for students and families. These experiences have shaped the ways I approach the application process, forming the lens with which I view trends. While events are changing the decisions families will need to make, I am encouraged by the opportunities these times have presented students. The current climate is prompting families to look within. We have the opportunity to redefine success and re-examine day-today routines. My students are increasing their sleep, reading for pleasure, going outside and having dinner at home with their families. Students are becoming more creative in what they plan to pursue this summer. One student wants to learn a new language; another plans to create a poetry blog, and another to organize virtual sessions with homeless youth. Universities can no longer expect students to take advantage of formal summer programs or service trips abroad, so this is the time to allow students

to create, innovate and explore.

Walden School Celebrates 6th-Grade Graduates

Gloria Ventura We expect the technical aspects of the college application process to remain relatively consistent. Standardized testing will resume in the fall, application deadlines will likely go unchanged and essays will need to be written. But what can be different are the stories our students tell. Encourage your child to observe their world and the ways in which it is changing. Ask your children their opinions, observations and perspectives. These conversations will inspire and shape the way they tell their story. I welcome you to visit steppingstones.net and sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on the college admission climate, and please reach out to me at gventura@steppingstones.net for help supporting your teen on the road to a campus where they will thrive. — By Gloria Ventura Stepping Stones to Learning

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n Friday, June 12, Walden School will celebrate the graduation of the class of 2020. Under the COVID-19 Safer at Home order, Walden’s goal has been to honor each graduate’s individual accomplishments and create the safest, most celebratory graduation experience possible. The school reinvented its traditional rites of passage and created new ones, resulting in the first Walden 6th-grade appreciation week. Featuring celebrations and activities, the graduation week includes a special home delivery by teachers, a scavenger hunt around Pasadena, a teachers versus 6th-graders “Family Feud” game show, an at-home campout, virtual graduation ceremony and family car parade. During the virtual graduation, each graduate will high-

light their Walden experience in a beautifully crafted speech. The event will also include musical performances by graduates, remarks from Head of School Terra Toscano and 6th-grade lead teacher Ella Moran, and a slideshow chronicling the students’ early childhood and elementary years. Before sending the class off to the next chapter in their educational journey, their families will gather at Walden for a car parade and socially distanced diploma presentation. Graduates are matriculating to 13 area independent and public middle schools, including Barnhart, Chandler, Clairbourn, Flintridge Preparatory, Gooden, Harvard-Westlake, Mayfield Junior, Waverly, Sequoyah and Westridge schools. Visit waldenschool.net.

Marshall Fundamental Has Had a Big Year M

arshall Fundamental Secondary School congratulates the class of 2020, a class that has been challenged in unimaginable ways yet has persevered. This class has led Marshall to once more excel. In academics, 1,067 AP exams were administered to 508 students. One hundred forty-four graduates have a GPA greater than 3.0, 90 have a GPA greater than 3.5, and 43 have a GPA greater than 4.0. We have a National Commended Scholar and a Posse scholar, 51 graduates who have demonstrated mastery in multiple languages earning the Seal of Biliteracy, and 20 candidates for the prestigious AP Capstone Diploma from the College Board. In the arts, Marshall continues to showcase the visual and performing arts with stellar instrumental music, choral, theater, dance, graphic design and visual arts programs. One hundred fifty-one graduates have been active participants in the arts, with 51 graduates earning the Academy of Creative Industry medallion. In athletics, 99 graduates have earned a varsity letter. Seven out of nine sports this year made it to the CIF playoffs, and two teams played in the state championship tournament. Our graduates include CIF champions and state finalists. Marshall Fundamental’s diversity and engagement have supported many students, including students overcoming great odds.

Twenty-eight of our graduates have worked through identified learning disabilities, 11 have been homeless during high school, and two are part of the foster care system. Forty-four are the first generation of their families to graduate from high school and 150 will be the first generation of their families to graduate from college. Marshall Fundamental graduates have been accepted to 141 colleges and universities in 41 states and five countries, and include two 2020 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Royal Court Princesses. The success of all graduating classes include the faculty and staff. More important, it includes parents, family and community. Marshall Fundamental is convinced we have the best group of people, and their unwavering support lifts Marshall to continue to perform at the high levels. From the principal, Dr. Mark Anderson: “Thank you, students. It has been a gift to be your principal and I am proud of you. This has been a year with many hardships culminating in a worldwide pandemic. And this class of 2020 has taught me that we are not defined by our present situation. It is in these times of turbulence that our character is forged.” For more information about Marshall Fundamental School, contact Felita Kealing at Kealing. Felita@pusd.us. Website: pusd.us/ Marshall.

Class of 2020 seniors showing school spirit at the Homecoming Powder Puff Pep Rally

Marshall Fundamental Advanced Placement Capstone candidates


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Westridge Class of 2020, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! I

nstead of sitting on the traditional risers on Westridge School’s Frank Field for commencement, this year’s class of 63 graduates drove across that same field for a safe commencement celebration welcoming them to the ranks of Westridge alumnae. The celebratory car procession was preceded by an online ceremony, which featured remarks from salutatorian N’Dea Piliavin-Godwin (Princeton ’24), valedictorian Leah Soldner (Caltech ’24) and commencement speaker Krista Kokjohn Poehler ’93, assistant dean at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. After describing the diverse interests and talents of the class, Piliavin-Godwin said, “Most of all, this is a class of beautiful people who support each other, who are unafraid to voice their opinions and fight for what they believe in. People who seek knowledge, recognize justice and actively choose to be champions of social justice. People who are the exemplification of why I remain unswerving in my

hope for the future.” Soldner concluded her remarks thanking the teachers, parents, coaches and classmates for “helping [the class] to develop as thinkers and listeners, for teaching us the importance of caring about and learning from the world around us and, of course, for introducing us to Oscar Wilde.” In welcoming students, Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor spoke about the arc of world events that has unfolded over the course of the graduates’ lifetimes, noting that many of the class were born in the fall of 2001 and addressing the current nationwide protests calling for an end to racism and racial injustice as well as the pandemic that upended the students’ final months of high school. “Are these times completely unprecedented? Our history includes significant periods of tumult that led to growth and meaningful, lasting change,” said McGregor. “Women have demonstrated that they can lead at times like these. They

have shown us that that they can be in charge of their own destiny and of those around them.” “This is where you come in! This is where you take your best bold selves, your resilience, compassion, leadership skills and sense of equity and justice that

have been nurtured while you’ve been at Westridge, and unleash them near and far, at home and across the globe, restoring hope and possibility and guaranteeing a brighter future. Make it known that a Westridge graduate inspires others and leads a life of impact!”

La Salle College Preparatory Celebrates Its Graduating Seniors T

he month of May was dedicated to celebrating the La Salle College Preparatory class of 2020 in a variety of meaningful ways. With the spring semester abruptly moved to distance learning and all extracurricular activities canceled, it was important the senior class be honored and celebrated for its achievements over the past four years. The La Salle arts and media department honored graduating students who have made an impact in the arts during their high school career by inducting them into the Hall of Fame. The La Salle athletic social media pages were updated daily to feature and salute all senior spring athletes in lieu of what traditionally would have been Senior Night, an event that recognizes and thanks seniors during their last home game. In addition, personalized lawn signs, care packages, and caps and gowns were delivered by members of the faculty and staff to each student’s home. On May 28, La Salle celebrated the official end of the semester and last day for the senior class. Throughout the day, graduates drove through the senior parking lot to pick up their yearbooks. They were met with celebratory fanfare that consisted of signs, streamers, balloons, music, and cheering by the faculty and staff. That same evening, the graduates and their families were invited to watch a virtual Baccalaureate Mass featuring Scripture readings and an offertory of symbolic pieces chosen by the

senior class to signify its members’ time and talents nurtured at La Salle. Most notably, English teacher and department chair, Rand Laird, addressed the class and provided it with advice and words of wisdom to guide the graduates in their

next chapter. Official graduation and socially distanced gatherings are planned for the summer to properly celebrate the class of 2020. On behalf of the board of trustees, board of regents, faculty, staff and ad-

ministration, we would like to congratulate the class of 2020 on all its achievements. We know it will represent us well in this next chapter and live out the Lasallian mission of Learn, Serve and Lead.


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Flintridge Sacred Heart Shines Flintridge Sacred Heart Class of 2020 includes (in alphabetical order) Caitlyn Adams, Sofia Algorri, Emily Amirian, Nicole Ariki, Kristen Asmar, Catherine Bauer, Lindsey Beck, Lauren Bolte, Brianna Bronson, Caroline Chase,Yanjie Chen, Zunyi Chen, Francesca Christensen, Emma Condit, Margaret Coontz, Natalia Cruz, Emily Cupo, Leni Dai, Cerys Davies, Janna De Vera, Riley DeJardin, Ferryn Drake, Alexandra Ehrhart, Natalie Felikian, Isabella Gandarilla, Xinning Gao, Emily Giesler, Dominique Godinez, Samantha Godinez, Emily Gomez, Yuqi Gong, Qi Guan, Sarah Hanks, Madeleine Hara, Kysa Hayashi, Manami Hayashi, Chase Hayes, Kiara Hosseinion, Hillary Howard, Christine Huston, Natalie Isaghulian, Grace Italia, Elisa Jimenez, Jaden Jones, Margaret Kalaw, Carmen Kelley, Darcy Kelley, Georgia Kisob, Ann Krappman, Liliana Labellarte, Jocelle Marie Lauron, Brianna Layseca, Abigail Lewis, Eleanor Li, Aili Lin, Aiqi Long, Lea Lopez, Izabel Mah y Busch, Katrina Manaloto, Celine Moradi, Shiyi Mu, Elle Nawrocki, Lauren Nettels, Nicole Noriega, Francesca Norton, Emilie Nunn, Olivia Partamian, Sarah Peck, Christina Perasso, Olivia Pieterse, Madeline Placido, Liza Pyle, Hailey Ramos, Lia Ramos, Brynne Richardson, Emilie Risha, Olivia Roginson, Elizabeth Rosenberger, Claire Schmidt, Hannah Sobota, Olivia Spina, Camryn Steele, Catherine Sullivan, Meghan Sullivan, Kaitlyn Thomas, Quinlan Van de Voorde, Jiayi Wang, Jenna Webster, Lilian Welwood, Madeline Williams, Meihan Wu,Yu Wu, Jiayue Xia, Huanqi Yang, Julia Yellen, Qing Yu,Yajun Yuan, Zoe Zarifes, Ziyan Zhang, Catherine Ziegler and Alexandra Zuch

Valedictorian Katrina Manaloto

Salutatorian Kristen Asmar

Flintridge Sacred Heart Associated Student Body Board includes President; Georgia Kisob,Vice President; Olivia Spina, Comm. of Boarding/ASB Rep; Jiayi Jenny Wang, Campus Minister; Janna De Vera, Secretary; Jocelle Lauron,Treasurer; Kristen Asmar, Comm. of Activities; Greta Coontz, 20


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Enriched Studies Prepare High Point Students W

hat makes High Point unique? Our mission is dedicated to awakening the joy of learning and inspiring every student to reach his/her fullest potential in a collaborative and innovative community of caring and academic excellence. As a K-8 school, High Point is able to guide students through their most formative years. From kindergarteners learning to navigate new friendships to middle school students transitioning to teenagers, at High Point students experience this growth in an environment that is nurturing and stimulating. Our devoted, talented faculty provides a strong, challenging and enriched curriculum that, in addition to the core academics, includes Spanish or French, vocal

and instrumental music, visual arts and design, library, the latest in technology and innovation, and daily physical education. This grounding of critical thinking and social and emotional skills paves the way for our students entering high school. This year, our 28-member graduating class earned nine merit-based scholarships with a combined value of nearly $400,000 over the course of students’ high school careers. These scholarships are based on academic prowess and performance. Visit our website to learn about our exceptional academic and enrichment programs. There are pictures, videos and blog posts so you can learn more about High Point Academy.

Barnhart Salutes Its Graduates’ Determination

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ongratulations to our graduates! As we send our class of 2020 out into the world during these uncertain times, we are so proud of the resilience and determination they have displayed to finish their elementary and middle school years strong. These young people have shown us that Barnhart students truly are differencemakers who know when to stand up for others and that the strength of their character is as important as their academic suc-

cess. Our graduates are well-prepared for their best next step in their educational journeys, and we’re so proud to be sending them out into the world to the wonderful high schools in our area. We also want to wish our class of 2016 the best of luck as they face the future. We know that they are well-prepared to face the challenges and opportunities ahead, and we know the world is a better place in their hands. Visit us at barnhartschool.org.


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Barger to Grads: You’re Our Greatest Hope H

ey, class of 2020! Seniors throughout Pasadena have proved they are resilient, talented and hard-working. You’ve spent so much time studying and striving, and I hope now you get the chance to enjoy the fruits of your labor. After enduring this school year, you deserve to celebrate all you’ve accomplished. With everything we’re facing, our graduates are this community’s greatest hope for the future. You’ve reminded us to be strong, give back and stay connected. I Supervisor know there are countless inspiring stoKathryn Barger ries of students showing up as a force for change on campus and in their neighborhoods. Your creativity and compassion give me profound hope. Each of you has used your time and talents to make a meaningful difference that will set you up for success in the future and will make an impact on Pasadena for years to come. You are leaving behind an incredible legacy. This community is grateful for all you’ve done and eager for all that’s still in store for you. Your graduation marks the beginning of boundless opportunities. There are so many parents, teachers and community leaders who care about you and are here to support you. Know that as you walk into this next chapter, we’re cheering for you every step of the way.

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ear class of 2020, As someone who has experienced several graduations in my own academic experience and as a parent and grandparent, I understand what year-end celebrations and ceremonies mean. So I know how this pandemic has upended all those moments and left you all disappointed. There is very little I can do or say to reduce that disappointment. However, I would like to express my personal congratulations and convey the congratulations of the people of PasMayor adena to you all — students and parTerry Tornek ents — for what you have achieved. You have persevered in the face of very challenging circumstances and for now you will continue to be challenged. Nevertheless, while there is much that has been lost, there is even more to be gained as we emerge from this shared experience. It is up to you not to let this sad circumstance defeat you. All of us must face adversity during our lives and how we deal with it will frequently determine how successful we are. So please know that we value your achievements to date and we are pulling for your success in the future. Terry Tornek Mayor

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Today’s Challenges Will Only Make You Stronger C

ongratulations! All of you should be proud of yourselves for finishing the year in one of the most challenging times we have ever faced. This year, public health, economic and social issues are more personal and pervasive for your generation than you may have thought they would be. One thing I can say for sure is that what we are experiencing now will make you stronger and shape who you are as a person. What gives me hope and inspiration for the future are the values you hold that will make Assemblyman our world a better place. Chris Holden As a lifelong Pasadena resident and a Pasadena High School graduate (Go, Bulldogs!), I am excited to see you learn, grow, and contribute to society. I encourage you to follow your passions and have fun along the way. Travel far and wide, when possible, but always remember your Pasadena roots. Congratulations, and I wish you all the best for your future endeavors! Assemblyman Chris Holden 41st Assembly District

Supervisor Kathryn Barger Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

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PUSD Class of 2020’s Options Are Endless D

ear class of 2020, As the representative of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley in Congress, it is my privilege to say congratulations to the entire PUSD High School class of 2020! I know it is difficult that we cannot celebrate in person, but I hope you are all proud of yourselves because I know your parents and teachers are proud of you, and so am I. Graduation is a real accomplishment, and one you spent years achieving. What comes next now is up to you. But armed with the knowledge you’ve gained, the options are endless. I cannot wait to see what you do next. Congratulations!

Congresswoman Judy Chu

Judy Chu, Ph.D. Member of Congress, 27th District

Let Us Celebrate Their Accomplishments T

o the PUSD students, parents and grandparents, Today our graduates reach a new milestone and we collectively celebrate them for their accomplishments. They will face a future filled with promise, new experiences and unprecedented challenges. Knowing many of them, I am confident that their futures are bright and they are well equipped to meet these challenges and thrive. I am proud to join you and your families in celebrating your graduation and send my best wishes for your journey ahead! Anthony J. Portantino State Senator, District 25

State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino


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A Letter to Emerging Leaders O

ne day you’re high-fiving a classmate in the hallway, huddling over a team project or riding with friends to a school event. You’ve worked hard and have big plans for your senior year, with several “lasts” lined up: your last prom, last game, last competition, last senior hurrah, and so it goes. Then, overnight, your senior experience comes to a halt. Three months ago, we’d dismiss current events as a farfetched, overblown plot for a dystopian movie. Alas, it’s our current reality. We’re only beginning to understand the impact of the pandemic and unrest that have disrupted our lives and key milestones of your high school experience. But we know this much: This is a class like no other, with enormous potential to bring renewed purpose and solutions into our world. FROM GRIEF TO GREATNESS No other class has withstood the same pressures, or emerged with such resolve and appreciation for collaboration, cultural diversity and lifelong learning. In recent months and years, we’ve watched you overcome so much and evolve as compassionate, skilled individuals committed to building a life of purpose for yourself and others. You’re a class of overcomers who understand what many adults don’t:

Superintendent Brian McDonald All lasting, significant success hinges on relationships and the pursuit of the common good — especially in a world that’s changing fast and furiously. We see in you global thinkers committed to cultivating a fair society where everyone has a voice, where diversity is celebrated, and where opportunities are within reach for all. DIFFERENT SCHOOLS, SHARED IDEALS The Pasadena Unified School District comprises six schools: Center for Independent Studies, Blair, John Muir, Marshall, Pasadena and Rose City high schools. Each school brings a unique approach, tradition, culture

and quirks. The common ground that unites our graduates is a shared sense of global citizenship and commitment to lifelong learning, intercultural understanding and living out the good ol’ golden rule: treating others as we want to be treated. When we look at the class of 2020, we’re encouraged to see a class of compassionate, out-of-the-box thinkers, always chasing unconventional solutions to emerging problems. As it happens, compassionate, out-of-the-box thinkers are exactly what our communities need to thrive in the days, weeks and years ahead. This world needs you. LITTLE THINGS, BIG THINGS It’s worth noting the past several weeks have rearranged our priorities and brought much into focus. For one, we have a newfound appreciation for the little, mundane things we took for granted, like the freedom to go to the movies, share a pizza with friends, visit a grandparent, or even share a kiss without a mask. We’ve learned the little things are, in fact, the big things. It’s been a painful lesson, but we trust this perspective shift will serve you well as you rise to positions of influence, however that looks like.

This year’s celebration will look different from anything we could have expected, but it’s no less heartfelt and meaningful. Your teachers, friends and loved ones are rooting for you. We also celebrate our massive support network: PUSD teachers, administrators, staff, families and caregivers who’ve worked hard to ensure our graduates are supported at home. It truly takes a village. YOUR NEXT STEPS You’ve made it. It’s been a season fraught with challenges, but we believe great opportunities lie on the other side of those challenges. Our hope for you is that you’ll make the most of your talents and resources to create your own opportunities. There’s no better time to lead, and we can’t help but feel hopeful of the skills and virtues you’re carrying forward into your next steps. Your time is now. Well done, 2020 graduates. We can’t wait to see how you’ll change the world.

Brian McDonald Superintendent, Pasadena Unified School District.


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Assumption Proud of This Resilient Class A

ssumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School is proud to present the Class of 2020! The school takes pride in the accomplishments this class has achieved, especially during COVID-19. These 29 students continued to put forth their best effort transitioning into remote learning. They left behind the comfort of on-campus learning, their extracurricular activities and day-to-day peer interactions, yet successfully met all the challenges they had to endure through distance learning.

Little did they know that their final year of elementary education was going to end during a historic time in the history of our world. It will be a time in their lives that will not be forgotten. It is a time in their lives that proved how the support and love from their families and school has prepared them academically and spiritually for challenging times. On behalf of the entire ABVM community, we present to you the future leaders of tomorrow.

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A Graduation Year Like No Other at PCC

ommencement at Pasadena City College is always a time to make memories, but there’s no doubt that the spring of 2020 will stand indelibly in our minds for years to come. When coronavirus came in March, PCC moved its operations online in a whirlwind of a week. Over time, the confusion about coursework and fears about health began to subside, and as we settled in for the long haul, we did the best we could to adapt to the “new normal.” Through it all, our students, faculty, and staff demonstrated resourcefulness and adaptability that showed just how resilient we can be. Then came outrage, despair, protests and upheaval that sent shockwaves through our community again. They have laid bare the pernicious inequality in our systems of government, justice and yes, education. Now we are asked to adapt for our students, faculty and staff. We are learning to listen completely, and we stand in allegiance with our black brothers and sisters, committed to change that is long overdue. Some days it is difficult to find hope, but this commencement we are inspired to think of a brighter future. Our graduates embody the possibility of days yet to come. We celebrate them this month. For more information, visit pasadena.edu.


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Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Offers Auditions

os Angeles Children’s Chorus is holding auditions for the 2020-21 season. Auditions are open to children ages 8-13 and young men with changing or changed voices; opportunities for treble singers age 14 and older are available based on experience.   LACC offers children the opportunity to grow musically by supporting their healthy vocal development and musicianship skills via a comprehensive, balanced, sequential program.   LACC also affords choristers once-in-alifetime opportunities to participate in its national and international touring program and experience the stage in performances with some of the world’s most prestigious companies, such as L.A. Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master

Chorale and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Through LACC’s transformative program, children discover their musical ability and creativity in a supportive environment that nurtures the whole child.   For the upcoming season, auditions will be done entirely online. Prospective choristers may audition by simply recording themselves singing “Happy Birthday.” Depending on age and experience, we may reach out for a further audition via Zoom.   Come sing with us! LACC is more than a choir — it’s a community devoted to friendship and song. As we look to expand our community for 2020-21, we would love to meet you! Request an audition at lachildrenschorus.org.

Waverly School ‘a Beacon for Our Family’ T

he Waverly School class of 2020 represents two milestones. With 31 students, it is the largest graduating class since the high school’s inception in 1997, and it boasts 13 “lifers” — students who have attended Waverly since kindergarten — the highest number in the school’s history. Graduates were admitted to or will be attending a diverse range of colleges and universities, including NYU, Carleton College, Syracuse, Oberlin, the Chicago Art Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Vassar, Occidental, USC, Pitzer, Cal Poly Pomona and several University of California campuses. Whether entering Waverly at elementary, middle or high school, students ben-

efit from learning environments that value inquiry, debate, creativity and critical thinking within a collaborative community, according to Head of School Heidi Johnson. As Luke Floquet ’20 prepares to enter Carleton College, his mother, Susan Lofgren, reflects on his years at Waverly, 4th to 12th grades, noting, “Waverly has been a beacon for our family, a foundation of acceptance and quiet discipline, fiery competition on sports teams, serious notes when needed, with a soft touch of love and, lately, a new challenging of norms, a pushing forward, a digging deep made possible by the teachers’ rare and vital capacity to know and be known.”


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International School Celebrates Students During Safer at Home Order W

hen it comes to honoring its students, “by any means necessary” might as well be the motto for the International School of Los Angeles (LILA). When faced with the COVID-19 pandemic in March, LILA moved classroom instruction to remote e-learning as its campuses closed. With the end of the school year, reimagined graduation ceremonies have become the focus. As Head of School Michael Maniska states: “Graduation is a significant rite of passage in the life of a young person. Despite the strictures of the day, it seemed terribly important to do something memorable for our students of the class of 2020.” LILA is keen to recognize kindergartners and 5th-graders at the Pasadena campus and 12th-graders in Burbank. All students will enjoy virtual ceremonies with speeches from the head of school, campus directors, faculty

and students. In addition, 5th-graders and 12th-graders will experience LILA’s first-ever drive-in graduation ceremony. “Physical distancing guidelines have prevented us from holding any in-person gatherings, but graduations are an important tradition,” explains Pasadena Campus Director Philippe Detzen. “For our students, it is a meaningful recognition of a milestone which signifies progress and helps them move on to the next chapter of their lives. For our academic team, it is a time for farewells and to celebrate students that have been with us, often since they started in preschool at around 3 years old.” For a multilingual and multicultural community like LILA’s, maintaining close-knit ties is an unchanging priority, the need for which resonates even more deeply in today’s context.

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Saint Elizabeth Graduates Honor a Long Legacy

he one word that comes to mind when describing the amazing group of young people in Saint Elizabeth’s class of 2020 is perseverance. Like all other graduating students throughout the world, they had to adjust to a new normal immediately in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This unique 8th-grade class mirrored a similar situation that took place more than 100 years ago, when students attending Saint Elizabeth were dealing with the impact of the Spanish flu. It is in the Spartan

DNA that these amazing 29 graduates persevered, accepting the challenge of these days with grace and dignity. Our school community is very proud of their accomplishments this year: being inducted into the first National Honor Society at the school, achieving a top 10 placement in the CYO Director’s Cup, and finding ways to serve their school community with a positive attitude.    For more school information, please visit our website at saint-elizabeth.org.


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Pasadena Graduation 2020  

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