Grads, principal say goodbye to Glendale High

Hundreds of graduates, along with their principal, bid farewell Thursday to four years at Glendale Unified High School.

More than 600 graduates dressed in red and black caps and gowns took center stage at Moyse Stadium as they prepared to move on to the next steps of their lives. Also preparing for change is Principal Deb Rinder, who is moving on to a district-level position next school year.

Reminding them of their great potential and endless possibilities, Salutatorian Vahe Avagyan asked his fellow classmates, “What do you want to achieve?”

Among Glendale High’s 2012 graduates were students who planned to attend West Point, UC Berkeley or local community colleges and universities. Graduate Mickey Mowry is an all-American swimmer, one of 100 top swimmers nationwide.

The ceremony was bittersweet for Rinder, who said she was moving on to a new position at the Glendale Unified School District’s headquarters.

“You guys came in 2009 as little freshmen and I came in as the new principal,” she said. “We had a pretty good start, but things were different.”

Rinder became emotional as she recalled her years with the graduating class.

She quoted Albert Einstein, John Wooden and Vince Lombardi to inspire the graduates.

“Have the will to succeed and the drive to make it happen,” Rinder said.

Graduate Kevin Vega, 18, planned to succeed by either continuing his football career or becoming a dentist.

A Glendale Community College coach scouted Vega, a captain for Glendale High’s team.

But what Vega said he will most cherish from his time at Glendale High was not football, but the advice he received from his teachers: “Do your best,” he said.

Esmeralda Alonso, 17, said she will attend Cal State Northridge, where she will major in social work.

A member of high school’s drill team, which won the national championship this year, she has already been accepted to join the CSN team.

One piece of advice that she would give incoming freshmen? “Join as many clubs as you can, because it helps you grow as an individual.”

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