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Clark seniors are moving on

June 18, 2004|By Robin Goldsworthy

Graduating seniors of Clark Magnet High School bid a fond farewell to their alma mater on Wednesday night. Donning green caps and gowns with gold tassels and sashes, the 241 soon-to-be graduates were greeted by applause from family and friends as they marched into the amphitheater.

The evening began at 6:30 p.m. with the Crescenta Valley High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps making the presentation of colors. The JROTC did double-duty Wednesday night, as Crescenta Valley High had their graduation ceremony an hour earlier at Stengel Field. Student Body President Artia Moghbel led the assembly in the flag salute. Afterward, the flag was raised on the nearby pole then lowered to half-staff in honor of the recent passing of former President Ronald Reagan.

Senior class officers Armyn Mnazakanyan, Liza Pesenson, Ana Khachatrian and Anet Badali presented the class gift, a giant clock 4 feet in diameter that will be mounted on an outside wall facing the amphitheater.

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Principal Doug Dall introduced several of the dignitaries who were in attendance, including Dr. Steve Hodgson, deputy superintendent for the Glendale Unified School District, Lena Harper of the Board of Education, and Dreda Lutz of the GUSD Human Resources Department.

Tense moments preceded the announcement of the school's salutatorian and valedictorian. Dall said it took until late Wednesday afternoon to determine who would receive these honors among the four contenders. Punardeep Singh Sikka was named salutatorian and Conor Bowman the class valedictorian. Both gave moving speeches reflecting on their experiences at Clark.

Before the conferment of diplomas, Hodgson stepped up to the podium for the recommendation of the class of 2004. In his presentation, he recognized the high achievement that the seniors demonstrated, quoting Franklin Roosevelt and country music singer Leanne Womack. "Get involved, get in the arena, and I hope you will dance," he urged the class.

Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School opened its doors to ninth and tenth-grade students in September 1998, adding 11th grade in 1999 and 12th in 2000. The decision to open Clark as a magnet school was made following a report prepared by the High School Task Force that stated that opening Clark as a specialized magnet school was their No. 1 recommendation. The school's mission is to provide "ethnically diverse students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a highly competitive technological world." Clark boasts some of the latest specialized hardware and up-to-date instructional programs in science, mathematics and technology.

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