Amidst spectacular views of the San Gabriel Mountains, family and friends gathered at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy’s Crane Field Sunday afternoon as 96 young women graduated in the class of 2011.
Dressed in a white gown and holding a bouquet of red roses, each young woman also wore a school medallion.
In addition to the common processional song, Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” the young women personalized their ceremony as the school’s Chamber Ensemble and Contemporary Music Ensemble and Chorus sang “I Hope You Dance,” a song about choosing to dream in spite of the possibility of failure.
Robbie Dela Cruz was honored as the class’ salutatorian and Alyssa De Oca and Stephanie Ramsden were honored as co-valedictorians.
A common theme ran throughout the young ladies’ speeches: a sense of sisterhood between the 96 graduates, a bond that was fostered at the school.
As Dela Cruz gave her speech, she took onlookers back to her first day at Sacred Heart. “After my first day at school, I cried that night because I felt that I could not accomplish all that my teachers wanted. I know that this school purposely tried to challenge me,” she said.
Ramsden emphasized that theme of sisterhood when she spoke of a micro loan the school and her classmates organized as a way to empower other women in the world.
After the speeches, and before diplomas were handed out, many of the young women were honored with additional awards. Alanna Pires and Robbie Dela Cruz were given the Veritas Award and Alyssa De Oca was given the General Excellence Award.
Scholarship Medals were given to Caitlin Cagampan, Robbie Dela Cruz, Megan Farrell, Stephanie Ramsden and Rachel Saad.
Kristine Locker was the recipient of the Siena Award and Leadership Medals were given to Laura Allen, Bianca Juarros, Alanna Pires, Jessica Reed and Chenyi Ye.
In line with its Catholic teachings and emphasis on Christian service to others, the school awarded Caitlin Cagampan, Mishael Edu, Alexandra Lopez, Nina Ragonese and Mary Zwart with Service Medals.
The Archdiocesan Service Award was given to Christiana Flaherty.
Serena Morris was the recipient of the Tolog Award.
Significant Academic Achievement by an International Student was awarded to Heri Kwon.
The Visual & Performing Arts Awards were given to Megan Farrell and Kelsey Shaw.