June 1, 2021
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
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 acknowledgement 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 “I Was 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.
At Diamond Bar High School, 614 graduates were recognized in the 7 p.m. commencement ceremony held at the Holmes Memorial Stadium/Elfelt Field.
“These past four years have been a time of challenge and unprecedented change,” said valedictorian speakers Pailey Kao and Breanna Yang.
“We have emerged stronger and smarter, more determined, and more confident.”
The duo told classmates that they could even become “superheroes in a different sense” with the endless opportunities before them.
It could be curing cancer, being the next president, or winning the Nobel prize, they said.
“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them!”
Congratulations to Valedictorians: Cassidy Apolo, Sonny Cao, Arielle Chang, Nicholas Chebat, Brandon Chen, Emily Chen, Kenny Chow, Sartaj Dua, Albert Guo, Cynthia Guo, Aaron Hao, Warrick He, Pailey Kao, Emily Koh, Alicia Kuo, Wesley Lin, Phillip Ma, Camille McCurry, Daniel Min, Aileen Park, Sean Peng, Jennifer Prakaiphetkul, Ryan Real, Allison Santogrossi, Mi Hyun Suh, Claire Wang, Derek Wang, Chelsea Wu, Tong Xie, Breanna Yang, Keiren Yu, Keiren Yu, Jiayi Zhang, Jacob Zhi, Luke Zhou, Levia Zhu, Wilson Zhu.
IB Diploma Candidates: Sritaran Bondada, Sonny Cao, Katrine Lee, Matthew Tempongko, Jin Yi (Phoebe) Yang, Tong Xie, Jeffrey Zhou.
Mustang Pride! Principal Dr. Ryan congratulates Class of 2021 graduates with fist bumps during the May 27 commencement.
Class Dismissed! Walnut High School grads receive diplomas during the May 27 commencement.
Class Vice President Samantha Kozlo delivers welcome message during graduation.
Class President Destiny Trujillo leads turning of the tassel at ceremony closing.
Twenty-one valedictorians were recognized during Walnut High School commencement ceremony.
Time Traveler! Senior Speaker Isabel Rosas addresses fellow classmates.
Class of 2021 members applaud commencement speakers.