Minutes before graduating, seniors at Clark Magnet High School took pictures and adjusted one another’s green caps and tassels before lining up.
Among those was Sayonika Mohanta, 18, who was named the class salutatorian for earning a 4.47 grade-point average. She also volunteered more than 100 hours in her four years at Clark, and will attend UCLA in the fall to study bioengineering.
She felt mixed emotions about graduating and moving on.
“Of course I’m sad, but I’m proud I can share this with all my friends I’ve known for four years,” she said. “We’re all going to bigger and better things. Just getting to this point is a great achievement for us.”
Andrea Castillo, one of the five valedictorian candidates, earned the highest grade-point average in her class with a 4.50.
Seven seniors stood out of the nearly 250 graduates for exceeding the required 220 credits by taking 70 to 85 extra credits, the latter totaling a year and a half of extra high school work.