This was the first typical graduation ceremony since pre-pandemic days. Per San Mateo County public health regulations, the Atherton school's 2021 commencement was kept shorter, with fewer speeches than in years past. The school hosted graduation in 2020 amid the early days of the pandemic.
Principal Karl Losekoot opened his speech to the class of 533 students with a moment of silence for the victims of the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last week, followed by a reflection on how the pandemic has affected the Class of 2022.
"You have done more than just graduate high school," said Losekoot, speaking at his first graduation as the school's leader. "You have experienced distance learning, the loss of social connections, contact with teachers, the loss of sports and school activities. You learned how to do school from your bedroom. ? We all know that while we did the best we could, distance learning did not work."
He noted that the class, which he called as "super graduates" for their challenges and triumphs, is also living through social change. He apologized graduates live in a world that experiences so much gun violence and "routinely manifests racist ideas."
Student speeches came from Alejandra Lombera on "Todo A Su Tiempo." Devin Leslie gave a speech called "Little Did I Know." Douglas Adams spoke on "Lessons From Struggle."
Seniors gathered for a picnic on Tuesday, May 31, and celebrated grad night on Friday. Per usual, the grad night location was a surprise to graduates.
The ceremony was also livestreamed on YouTube this year.
View the full list of graduates at bit.ly/3NWwwPZ.