"We are proud of him," Irma Hernandez said. "He worked hard at a
job and took classes so that he could graduate."
The auditorium filled with family members and friends who, like
the Hernandez family, were proud and relieved to see this day.
This is the second year that the Glendale Unified School District
has offered high school seniors who didn't graduate in June the
opportunity to have a later ceremony.
The graduates from Daily, Hoover, La Crescenta, Glendale and Clark
Magnet high schools and Verdugo Academy used the summer to finish the
last couple of credits needed to graduate.
"Sometimes kids need an extra push," said Cathy McMullen,
assistant superintendent of human resources. "Some don't realize
until graduation time that they want to graduate like everyone else."
The joint ceremony still gives graduates a feeling of school
pride, said Daily High Principal Sherry Stockhamer, who first
conceived of the ceremony. The principal of their individual high
school gives them their diploma and they wear their school's colors.
"It's nice that they're doing this with our school, our own colors
and our own principal," said Karin Riutzel, a Hoover graduate who
will attend UC Riverside in the fall. "It makes it feel like our own
In the past, seniors who finished their remaining credits over the
summer would pick up their diploma from their school's secretary,
"Even though we did graduate late, I think it's nice that they
gave us a ceremony," said Elmira Petrosyan, a Hoover graduate who
will soon enroll at Los Angeles City College.
Graduation speaker Donicia Barrios, captured the feeling of
accomplishment that many graduates inevitably shared.
"I would like all of you to take the moments here today to
remember how hard we worked to get here," said Barrios, a Crescenta
Valley graduate who thanked teachers, counselors, administration and
friends. "These are the people who have picked us up when we were
down. They gave us the extra boost to put the year 2005 on our
The graduation marked an end to these graduates' youth and many
were relieved that they could move on.
"It was rough but I'm done," said Antony Vafaie, a Glendale High