A monthly update from the Whittier Union High School District.
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Sandra Thorstenson, Superintendent
Sandra Thorstenson
Graduations are upon us and our Whittier Union family of staff, parents and community are preparing to celebrate the launch of our seniors as they culminate their high school careers and spring into the next exciting chapter of their lives. Our entire staff has worked collaboratively and diligently, doing whatever it takes to ensure our students are nurtured and stretched so that they may positively impact the world. Transitions are a part of life and offer constant renewal. As I too transition into retirement, I am comforted knowing that Whittier Union has an exceptionally strong foundation with an extraordinarily talented and dedicated staff and Board of Trustees, which means our students will continue to flourish long into the future.
California High School
California High School’s graduation ceremony will consist of 680 Condors receiving their diplomas and celebrating as parents and friends look on. This year’s valedictorians are Cecilia Villanueva, who is headed to USC as a pre-med student, and Vincent Navarro, who will study astrophysics at UC Berkeley. The salutatorian is Haley Nelson, who will attend UCLA. Cecilia was previously named Freshman of the Year and since then has earned the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish, Principal’s Honor Roll, Student of the Month and is an AP Scholar and Distinguished Scholar with Honors. She is the drum major for the band and is on the varsity swim and varsity water polo teams. Vincent is the second valedictorian from his family in the last three years at Cal; his brother is at Stanford. He has earned Principal’s Honor Roll, Student of the Month and the Seal of Biliteracy in Latin. He is an AP Scholar and is a member of multiple academic programs. Cal’s graduation will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 1 at the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium, 8426 Pioneer Blvd., Whittier.
La Serna High School
La Serna High School will graduate 680 Lancers at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 1 at Dick Torres Memorial Stadium, 8426 Pioneer Blvd., Whittier. This year’s valedictorians are Elizabeth Israelian, Caleb Lessard-Clouston and Mariam Mnatsakanian. The salutatorians are Lindsay Ann Baca and Lindsey Blaire Canavan. Elizabeth, who has a 4.55 GPA, will attend USC on a full-tuition scholarship and plans to major in biochemistry. Caleb, who has a 4.56 GPA, will attend UCLA and major in mechanical engineering. Mariam, with a 4.52 GPA, will attend USC and major in neuroscience. Lindsay, with a 4.5 GPA, will attend the University of Notre Dame on a full-tuition scholarship and major in neuroscience and behavior. Lindsey, with a 4.51 GPA, will attend UCLA as a Regent Scholar; she will major in economics.
Pioneer High School
Pioneer High School will host its commencement ceremony for 315 Titans at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at Dick Torres Memorial Stadium, 8426 Pioneer Blvd., Whittier. This year’s valedictorians are Arianna Beltran and Michael Hernandez. Arianna is an academic leader with 12 years of perfect attendance who will major in biology at Cal State Long Beach. She has been a member of the Artemis mentorship program through Whittier College, California Scholarship Federation (CSF), Link Crew and varsity soccer and volleyball. Michael will student chemical engineering at UC Irvine. He has participated in CSF, Team Science and the Academic Mentor program. The school’s salutatorian is Patrick Macasaet, who will major in pre-medicine at UCLA. Patrick is a former Boys’ State delegate, member of Link Crew and CSF and is an Academic Mentor.
Santa Fe High School
Approximately 570 Santa Fe High School Chiefs will turn their tassels and walk into the next phases of their future at their commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at Cerritos College Stadium, 11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk. This year’s valedictorians are Bernadette Bermudez, Sarahi Garza and Bailey Hernandez. Bernadette’s 4.42 GPA will take her to UC San Diego, where she will major in computer sciences and work toward becoming a member of the Pixar animation team. Sarahi, who has a 4.49 GPA, will major in neuroscience at UCLA and aspires to be a neonatal pediatrician. Bailey, who holds a 4.41 GPA, is headed to USC and will major in business administration. He plans to get a graduate degree in business law.
Whittier High School
Nearly 500 Cardinals will graduate from Whittier High School at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 2, with six valedictorians and one salutatorian leading the way. The valedictorians are Dylan Carranza (4.44 GPA, MIT); Andrea Pelayo (4.5 GPA, UC Berkeley); Chastity Baeder (4.42 GPA, Biola University); and UCLA-bound students Matteo Munoz (4.51 GPA), Yulissa Serrato (4.48 GPA) and Pavle Pejovski (4.44). This year’s salutatorian is Mark Rojas (4.34 GPA, UC Irvine). Additionally, 24 students are receiving the Cardinal Key, Whittier High’s most prized graduation achievement – and a 75-year tradition – based on teacher votes for the top 4 percent of seniors who best represent Whittier High’s core values of Citizenship, Leadership, Achievement, Self-Respect, and Service (CLASS). The graduation ceremony will be held at the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium, 8426 Pioneer Blvd., Whittier.
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