Students Madeline Lynch, Josie La Valle and Piatt Pund sung the national anthem to kick off the commencement ceremony.
Clad in caps and gowns with gold tassels, graduates were handed their diplomas personally by principal Ernest Remillard, who posed for a photograph with each student as their names were called out from the class list.
“We are gathered here today to recognize all 214 of these students for managing to survive and overcome the obstacles faced,” said ASB Council president Cecilia Lopez. “We all know how hard it is to balance both our personal and academic struggles, while juggling work and sports with classes, sometimes sleeping only six hours a night – or pulling an all-nighter to study for a final – and waking up at 5 a.m. to catch a bus. But it was all worth it… an unforgettable journey.”
MBHS senior class president Bryanna Pintor said, “This is not an ending – but a new beginning.” She thanked her mom, whom she described as her “best friend” noting, “She never allowed me to believe in obstacles, that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do, or be whoever I wanted to be.”
Of her friends, Pintor said, “Thank you all for shaping me and being there for me. Getting here was by no means easy. There were many times we thought we would never reach the finish line.
“But those struggles have only made this moment sweeter. We have the power to change the world. I am confident our generation will make change, not only in the way we think, but in our actions. It is our turn, and the good news is that all of us are ready,” said Pintor.
Pointing out she “never liked being the center of attention,” valedictorian Ciara Gray said she was “wiser today than four years ago.” Pointing to balance as her prevailing theme, Gray thanked her instructors for “teaching me to enjoy the journey,” adding, “I am grateful to all the students, teachers and staff who shaped my high-school experience.”
In his speech, salutatorian Luke Loomis thanked his peers, MBHS faculty and student parents.
Of parents, Loomis commented, “You are the bows from which your living arrows are sent forward.” He thanked “all the parents and parental figures here today for their unconditional love, which has helped drive us to this moment.”
Remillard congratulated the graduates for “pushing themselves” to meet graduation requirements noting, “Most of you exceeded those requirements.
“You have brought so much to this class,” Remillard added. “This will be the first day of your new journey. I am confident Mission Bay High School has prepared you for this next step … to achieve greatness in whatever journey your life takes you on.
“Enjoy the journey,” was the principal’s final piece of advice. “Please remember, Always be respectful. Go Bucs!”