Woodside graduates look to the future | June 10, 2022 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - June 10, 2022

Woodside graduates look to the future

by Angela Swartz

For the first time since 2019, Woodside High School held a typical graduation ceremony, with the commencement open to all who wished to attend.

The roughly 480 graduates in the Class of 2022, the school's 63rd class, walked across the stage and received their diplomas on June 3, during a morning ceremony on Bradley Field, the school's football field.

The normalcy stands in contrast to recent graduations. In 2021, the school held a more abbreviated ceremony per San Mateo County's public health guidelines, with fewer speeches than in years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And in 2020, Woodside held a car parade graduation ceremony and livestreamed graduation speeches.

Principal Karen van Putten described the last four years as possibly the most unusual and challenging years of educators' careers.

"We were safe and some of us were a little bit reticent, but we were happy to be back on this campus," she said of students returning to fully in-person learning this school year.

Van Putten, who has led the school since last year, didn't hold back recalling some of the more colorful moments she witnessed at the school. She described arriving on campus one day to see a car on fire in the parking lot and students destroying a porcelain sink as part of a TikTok challenge.

She also praised students for their abilities to come together to protest the Supreme Court's threat to Roe v. Wade and using their voices to demand leaders create tougher gun laws.

Senior Class President Emma Hague welcomed families and guests to the ceremony. She and Student Body President Elise Evans then spoke about the "Impact of Tomorrow."

Valedictorian Diana McGrory spoke on the "Rules of the Road."

The class graduated more than 73 valedictorians, which includes students with a cumulative, weighted grade-point average of 4.1 or greater.

The ceremony was also livestreamed this year.

View the list of graduates at bit.ly/3mlklR9.

Email Staff Writer Angela Swartz at [email protected]

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