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Glendale High School:

‘Today we all celebrate’

June 20, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

Facing uncertain futures made murkier by decimated higher education budgets and a slumping job market, the Glendale High School class of 2009 received its diplomas Friday at a ceremony on Moyse Field.

“Many of you have taken different paths to get here, but today we all celebrate,” said Principal Deb Rinder. “I am confident that you are prepared to make a difference in this world. But ultimately, the choice is yours.”

Street vendors offered floral leis and motorists jockeyed for prime parking positions as some 4,300 family members, friends and educators poured into the school’s athletic facility. A cool breeze whipped through the air, reverberating words of reflection punctuated by the crowd’s piercing acceptance.

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“Do not fear the uncertain economy in these uncertain times,” Rinder said. “Always strive for excellence.”

An airplane hovered ahead pulling along a message to one lucky graduate: “The sky is your limit.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Ararat Tahmassian, whose son, Edward, was among the graduates. “From the time he was very young, 5 or 6 years old, he wanted to be a doctor for children, a pediatrician. He’s a dreamer, and I want him to reach his dreams.”

The atmosphere of “Pomp and Circumstance” soon gave way to cheers and laughter, prompting Rinder to remind the class of 2009 that this was graduation, not Dodger Stadium. Salutatorian Nicholas Wagner and Valedictorian Roza Petrosyan both offered favorable remarks to the pranksters among the senior class.

Minutes later, the students, capped in red and black, began doing the wave.

Senior class president Jennifer Movsessian presented administrators with a $20,000 check before taking the microphone.

“You will never be trapped in Verdugo traffic again,” she said to laughter.

“You can now wear any hat or listen to your iPod whenever you want.

“GHS is a phenomenal place. Don’t worry about forgetting the past, and don’t worry about what comes in the future. Have a wonderful life.”

Forty-five students were honored with 20 seconds of adoration for achieving a 4.0 grade-point average throughout high school.

While his grades were not perfect, the family of Joshua Arthur Minchaca beamed with satisfaction.

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