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Diploma time for seniors

Molly Shore

They’ve taken their final high school exams, are attending their

proms and are filling each other’s yearbooks with best wishes.

For an estimated 1,200 seniors at five local high schools, all


that remains is donning caps and gowns. The pomp and circumstance

begins Saturday, when Providence High School graduates 137 from the

Class of 2003.

“It’s been a wild journey, and it’s been long,” said Burbank High


School senior Kelly Reichel, 17, whose class is expected to graduate

more than last year’s total of 482. “But I’m leaving with many great


Emilio Urioste, who has been principal at John Burroughs High

School for the past 12 years, said that this year’s seniors had to

endure many changes on campus because of ongoing construction.

However, he added, they are also the first graduating class to

benefit from the new facilities.


“They really have a soft spot in my heart, because they’ve

witnessed a lot of changes,” he said.

According to Urioste, there is a lot more pressure on today’s

graduates to have their path beyond high school mapped out ahead of

time. Although this year’s senior class is exempt from the high

school exit exam, which becomes a requirement next year, today’s

seniors have had many more expectations placed on them because of

state and district assessments, he said.