Commencement exercises at the school's new stadium were infused with a fun and lighthearted spirit as MBHS seniors, in the words of principal Ernest Remillard, transformed into “alumni.”
“I wanted to let you know how proud I am of each and every one of you,” said Remillard, who was also principle for some of the graduating class's seniors previously at Pacific Beach Middle School. “I am confident that they'll take their experiences and memories with them as they depart on their next journey.”
Remillard thanked his staff personally for aiding him in helping “this terrific group of young men and women.”
“Please remember: Always be respectful, and appreciate your life experiences,” Remillard counseled the graduating class.
At the start of the ceremony ASB and class president Victoria Grabowski told the crowd she hoped the ceremony “wouldn't be too long or boring,” then sat down.
“I actually thought that speech was going to be a little longer,” responded Remillard.
“We are one big, truly happy family,” said senior class vice-president Donald (Ozzie) Osborne. He concluded with a quote from NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis who said, “Leave your mark to endure.”
Co-valedictorians Hannah Bloom and Kyra Forsyth, as well as salutatorian Dan Tran, gave commencement speeches.
Bloom, the captain of girls softball team who will be playing the sport in college, said the old adage that “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” doesn't apply to MBHS.
“MBHS with its International Bacclaureate (IB) program and new sports complex is now the envy of all high schools in San Diego Unified School District,” said Bloom, citing all of her instructors for contributing to students' success noting, “They never get the credit they truly deserve.”
Forsyth spoke about 10 “lessons” she'd learned at MBHS. Her list included being honest, having a positive attitude, trying not to procrastinate, not being afraid to ask for help and learning to prioritize.
“No matter what you do, be you,” advised Forsyth, adding, “Don't listen to what other people tell you about you, because they aren't – and never will be – you.”
Tran, whom principle Remillard referred to as “always having a smile on his face,” discussed procrastination.
“Don't just wait around doing nothing until something happens,” Tran said. “You have to be proactive with your life.”
SDUSD board president Dr. Michael McQuary accepted MBHS's Class of 2016 and put everything in perspective during his remarks.
“There are 60 million students in K-12 schools in 27,000 high schools throughout the nation,” said McQuary, adding “there are six million students in California and 133,000 students in SDUSD in 25 high schools.”
McQuary noted that MBHS's 2016 class of 215 graduates “are a big part of making a difference, not only in this community, city and state, but in the nation and the world.”
The school board president noted this was a record-setting year at SDUSD pointing out the district, the second largest in the state, had a “92 percent average of all students graduating,” which he added is “the highest percentage of any urban high school in the state of California and the nation.”
McQuary added the Class of 2016 was also exceptional given the diversity of SDUSD and the large number of English as a second language students which it enrolls.