2012 PLHS graduates prepare for jump into real world
by Scott Hopkins
Published - 05/30/12 - 04:56 PM | 2985 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three young men — two honored as valedictorians and one salutatorian — will lead their 425 classmates onto Bennie Edens Field at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 12 to the familiar sound of “Pomp and Circumstance” as Point Loma High School’s (PLHS) 87th commencement unfolds before an overflow crowd of parents, relatives and friends.

Valedictorians Corten Singer and Sabahudin Redzepovic achieved 4.77 cumulative grade-point averages. Salutatorian Aaron Bagnell, who is headed to UC Berkeley, would also have the same average, but he ran for the cross country team, earning four points for an “A” instead of the five given in weighted classes. 

PLHS Principal Bobbie Samilson will present the class to a member of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education, who will formally accept them. 

Each graduate will have a brief moment in the afternoon sun as his or her name is read before they walk across the a temporary platform to receive an empty diploma holder and pose for a photo with Samilson.

Finally, after Senior Class President Kyle Sutter’s remarks, the school’s newest alumni will gather at the center of the football field to fling their caps skyward in one final act of class unity before the celebrating begins.

The barriers will then removed and waves of proud folks armed with digital cameras and bearing bouquets of colorful flowers and leis will descend upon the field. They will attempt to locate their favorite graduate, who is simultaneously trying to locate his or her best friends. 

It’s a scene that will last for perhaps an hour until graduates are reminded they must turn in their caps and gowns in the school gym. This is where the actual diplomas will be given, and for the few students who were “on the bubble,” holding the small piece of paper will prompt a heavy sigh of relief. 

The day marks an end of compulsory education for the throng, but PLHS counselors report 78 percent of the class of 2012 will continue on to higher education in two or four-year colleges.

Other students are planning to enter vocational schools, the military or the workforce.

Sarah Brandl, PLHS’ new head counselor, quickly discovered what previous generations of Pointers have known.

“I’ve really fallen in love with this school and the community,” Brandl said. “It’s a great school and we are very proud of our graduates. They are a great group of kids. They have won lots of awards in athletics and individual academic honors this year.” 

Brandl said several class members are receiving full-ride scholarships; more have won scholarships and grant money.

She praised counselors Sadie Mizisin-Cullumber, Jody Kissin, Teresa Priest, counseling secretary Madeline Tolpen and school registrar Jackie Rosso for their efforts in preparing the class of 2012 for graduation.

Also instrumental were Leah Allen, resource teacher; Amy Denney, ASB advisor and testing coordinator; and Jo Kelley, principal’s secretary. 


• Graduate Paige Pendarvis, who is headed to the University of Chicago, will join the valedictorians and salutatorian at the annual “Salute to Excellence” gathering on Monday, June 4 at the University of San Diego. The event brings together the top 1 percent of students from all San Diego high schools. Pendarvis’ parents are Michael and Elizabeth Pendarvis of Ocean Beach.  

• The class of 2013 is offering flowers for pre-sale through June 5 and at the graduation ceremony. Guests attending graduation are urged not to buy flowers from street vendors so that purchases will benefit next year’s senior class. For an order form, visit www.pointlomahigh.com or purchase them at the Voltaire Street stadium entrance on June 12.
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June 09, 2012
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