On May 23rd, Sacred Heart Preparatory graduated 155 students at its 122nd commencement ceremony. Graduates from the Class of 2020 will attend at least 68 different institutions: at least 56 students will study in California, and at least 96 will study out of state. Twenty-four students earned recognition by the National Merit Scholarship program and five were recognized as National Hispanic Scholars. Nineteen have committed to play intercollegiate athletics. One graduate will attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
Twenty-eight members of the graduating class have been on the preschool – grade 12 Sacred Heart campus for 13 or more years.
This year’s event was unlike any other; it was held “drive-in” style with attendees’ vehicles parked at the Menlo Circus Club’s field. It was a formal ceremony in front of families, with the delivery of diplomas to graduates, and the traditional reading of each graduate’s name aloud. The event took place under very specific allowances and conditions per the San Mateo County Health Order c19-19.
At the ceremony, diplomas were presented by faculty and administrators. Director of Schools Richard A. Dioli gave remarks along with Principal Jennie Whitcomb; Valedictorian Parinaz Khosravi; Salutatorian Alan Kagiri; and faculty speaker Dr. Guy Letteer. Also participating in the ceremony was Board of Trustees Chair Shami Ravi.
Following a century-old school tradition, “Blue Ribbons” were awarded to select students, nominated and elected by the faculty and ratified by the administration. Blue Ribbons are the highest honor given by Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton to graduating seniors, and reflect outstanding achievement in academics and standards of character in the fulfilment of one or more of the school’s guiding Goals & Criteria.
Graduates receiving a Light Blue Ribbon, for embodiment of a particular Goal and its
criteria, were awarded to:
- Malia Tangitau, and Harrison Wells for Goal I: A personal and active faith in God;
- Theresa Lim, Christy Thompson, and Alexi Stavropoulos for Goal II: A deep respect for intellectual values;
- Ale Torres, Hannah Nguyen, and Walker French for Goal III: A social awareness which impels to action;
- Izzy Jordan, and J.P. Frimel for Goal IV: The building of community as a Christian value;
- Luca Herden, Schoettler, Liam Strand, and Ryan Mo for Goal V: Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.
Graduates Alan Kagiri, Jake Birdwell, Tevita Moimoi, and Alexia Gutierrez each received a Dark Blue Ribbon, for embodiment of the values implicit in a Sacred Heart education.
For 14 consecutive years, Sacred Heart Preparatory athletics program has sent at least 10 percent of each year’s graduating class to play athletics at the intercollegiate level. The Class of 2020 will send 19 athletes
in 12 different sports; of that number, nearly 70 percent will compete for NCAA Division I teams.
With the class of 2020’s college choices ranging from public and private institutions large and small, with sectarian and non-sectarian among the mix, the student body shows a similar breadth of interests in their future academic goals. Students plan to pursue educational programs as wide ranging as STEM, visual and performing arts, humanities, social studies, and more.
As Valedictorian Parinaz Khosravi said in her address, the class of 2020 is graduating during an historic time of global pandemic, but each with hope, and the “power of not just any community, but our Sacred Heart community.”
“We must keep our faith, strength, and compassion to transform our current hardship and experiences into leadership and wisdom for generations to come,” said Khosravi.