Graduation date, speakers, location announced


Winter Rawson

Valedictorian Rebekah Spector and salutatorian Elsie Morales have a thumb war during their free time.

Eva Kaganovsky

The Class of 2017 was upset to hear school counselor Martina Torres announce that graduation would be held at Mulholland Middle School.

“I think it’s odd because it’s a middle school and we are high schoolers, but at the end of the day we are getting our diploma and graduating,” senior Joanne Taborda said.

The 2017 graduation ceremony will be held on June 9 at 5 p.m. The location was changed from Birmingham Community Charter High School in an attempt to reduce the amount of expense related to graduation.

“We are not being charged as much money as we were being charged to use Birmingham’s facility,” Principal Deb Smith said. “We are actually saving money.”

Rebekah Spector, the editor-in-chief of The Pearl Post, was announced as the valedictorian of the graduating class of 2017. The salutatorian of the graduating class is Elsie Morales, the editor-in-chief of the Prestige Yearbook.

In spite of the location change, the graduation ceremony will adhere to tradition with a speeches from the valedictorian and a keynote speaker.

This year, the keynote speaker is Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and immigration rights activist. In June 2012, Vargas was featured on the cover of Time Magazine when he openly identified himself as an undocumented immigrant. Vargas was invited to be a keynote speaker because he is an excellent role model for many students and was a journalist in high school.

“Jose Antonio Vargas has become quite a notable journalist,” Smith said. “He has some powerful messages to give to students.”

In addition to Vargas, Smith invited Dr. Judea and Ruth Pearl and Local District Instructional Director Dr. Margaret Kim to the ceremony.

Each senior will be allowed to invite six guests to the ceremony.

“I don’t know what my message will be yet but the best advice I got was to speak from my heart,” Spector said.