With soft winds blowing their dark blue and turquoise robes, about 690 graduating seniors from Crescenta Valley High School received their diplomas during a ceremony on the football field at Glendale Community College.
It was hard to forget that a few months earlier the school was shaken to its core by the suicide of sophomore Drew Ferraro, who jumped to his death from the roof of a high school building in front of dozens of students.
As she stood among other graduating seniors waiting to walk onto the field, Grace Kang, 18, said the tragedy brought about some positive changes for many students.
“People have used it as an influence to get stronger,” she said. “I think it brought the school more together, trying to stop suicide and bullying — and to be accepted.”
Also waiting nearby was Rachel Murphy, 17, who is headed off to study marine biology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.