Graduation is not an ending, Burroughs High School Associated Student
Body President Brent Schackman told his fellow graduates Thursday
“It’s a commencement, and so begins the rest of our lives,”
Schackman told 428 fellow seniors and a capacity crowd seated in the
Memorial Field bleachers.
Before class salutatorian Timothy Salamon spoke, he played a sea
chantey on the kazoo, a novelty that has become a tradition among
student speakers at Burroughs commencement exercises.
Graduating from high school, Salmon said, is the greatest
accomplishment of his life, and will serve as the gateway to his
While valedictorian Rolando Flores told classmates that they must
not forget to keep their eyes on the future, student speaker Lucia
Fabio asked them to remember to look back once in a while.
“It’s that past that has gotten you here today,” Fabio told
classmates as she reminisced about their four years at Burroughs.
Kiel Holmes, who offered farewells to the class, added a bit of
sardonic humor to his speech.
“We’ve taken everything the school has thrown at us,” he told
them, “but due to budget cuts, we’ll probably have to give it back.”
Principal Emilio Urioste told seniors that they are members of the
Burroughs family, and have an obligation to grow and serve.
“Go in peace and love,” she said.
Cynthia and Jose Payo beamed with pride about the accomplishments
and ambitions of their 18-year-old son, Joseph. In the fall, Joseph
Payo will enter USC to study mechanical engineering.
“I’m really proud of him,” Jose Payo said. “All those days of
going straight home [from school] to do homework paid off.”
Krystle Arias, 17, said she is looking forward to moving on to
bigger and better things.
“I’m the first in my entire family to graduate from high school,”
Krystle said proudly.
Her scholastic achievement earned Krystle five scholarships and
the opportunity to study at Berkeley.
“Right now, I’m not sad to be leaving,” she said. “I’ll have time
to be sad later.”