By Christine Carpenter, Special to the Independent
What does graduation mean, and where do we go from here? This seemed to be a question on many minds last week while the Laguna Beach High School class of 2013 took the stage after pouring into the Irvine Bowl, filling it with enthusiasm and excitement, reminding everyone that this was in fact, their night.
Each speaker left the audience, smiling, laughing and honored to be a part of this memorable evening. Senior Tyler Fisher, began the speeches, and left his mark with his quick wit. His joke about LBHS Principal Joanne Culverhouse following him from elementary, to middle school and finally high school was one that expressed the closeness the entire class felt after the 14 years they shared. Adding one of his witty zingers at the end, “I’m afraid when I finally get a job, Dr. Culverhouse will show up there too,” making everyone laugh and appreciate the classmates’ rare bond.
Speaker Seneca Jakosky was not one to let the momentum down, delivering words of encouragement and reminding her class to not be afraid to take risks because “the greater the risk, the higher the reward,” something she learned from high school teacher Mark Alverez.
Valedictorian Jared Boetes combined approaches to deliver a speech full of realizations, and comedic relief. Tying in themes of passion, risk-taking, and staying true to yourself, Jarod’s speech hit major high-notes with quotes to his class urging them to be confident in their potential, but open minded, to be passionate in what they believe, but not afraid to listen to others. Before ending, he asked his peers to have faith in themselves, know it’s time to take risks and that inexperience will become experience, only if they are bold and daring. This advice made it clear the class of 2013 felt emboldened for their next chapter; they were ready to be risk-takers.
Social science teacher Mark Alverez used his students’ advice as inspiration for his own missive. Excerpting quotes from this group, he illustrated just what strong and passionate adults they all have become. For instance, student Morgan Lebby felt class of 2013 should never forget the importance of trying; and senior Leah Fletcher humorously advised her class to learn how to ride unicycles, because in life, balance is key.
The school principal aimed to prove this class had more than what it takes to achieve their goals. Sharing her story of her bicycle ride across America, Culverhouse related the story to their lives and how they soon may be feeling. She warned them, there will be mountains they need to conquer, but conquer them one at a time; take advantage of tail winds, because they don’t come often; and to be aware of the head winds, which could take the form of a hard class. Her metaphor seemed to ignite the torch of each graduating student to find their way too, and conquer the journey before them.
Joanne Culverhouse concluded her heartfelt speech by saying, “thank you, you made me a better person,” making apparent, that Culverhouse and this group of 250 students had developed a special bond.
It seemed clear, these graduates would be risk-takers; unafraid of falling, but embracing the process of learning how to balance, whether it be on unicycles or ascending mountains.
Christine Carpenter is a Chapman University graduate. She is an aspiring writer and looks forward to her adventures as an Indy Intern.
Photos by Allen Bradley
Class of 2013
|Del Toro, Alexis|
|DelPizzo Howell, Dylan|
|Dominguez Gonzalez, Axl|
|Gallo Delgado, Christian|
|Rand Luby, Dylan|
|Reyes Navor, Jovani|
|Rosario Barba, Alejandro|
|Shojaei Asl, Frank|
|Zur Schmiede, Makenna|