GRADUATION: South Pasadena High School Class of 2018

New paths ahead for the 372 grads who received their diplomas Tuesday during the 2018 Commencement on Roosevelt Field

SPHS Graduation 2018

 

They embraced, shed tears, slapped high fives, and recalled the good times knowing this was the end of four years ­– four memorable years – as they said their final goodbyes to friends, teachers and staff following South Pasadena High School’s 2018 commencement Tuesday afternoon at Roosevelt Field.

PHOTO: Shari Correll | South Pasadena High School Class of 2018 sings their alma mater at graduation ceremonies June 5, 2018 at Roosevelt Field

“I’m going to miss you,” said one graduate hugging another, seemingly not wanting to leave the stadium moments after throwing her cap to commemorate the end of the 2018 graduation ceremony with the playing of the school’s alma mater. “SPHS will always feel like home.”

PHOTO: Shari Correll | SouthPasadenan.com | South Pasadena High School seniors look for their families in the stands at the graduation ceremony on June 5, 2018

Nearby, a small group was locked arm-in-arm, singing “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra, the class song blaring from the speakers as the students walked slowly out of the stadium.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Under the direction of Howard Crawford, members of the school’s band and orchestra performed the processional and recessional at the beginning and end of graduation ceremony

It marked a time to celebrate for those ending 13 years of education starting with kindergarten.

“I’m going to miss you guys,” said one grad wearing the traditional white gown (grads are able to choose black or white robes). “We did it! This is an amazing feeling.”

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Michael Samudio sang the National Anthem at the beginning of Tuesday’s graduation ceremony at South Pasadena High

The SPHS Class of 2018 anxiously sat through an hour-long ceremony on the floor of Roosevelt Stadium on the school campus. Among the highlights, classmate Michael Samudio sang a memorable rendition of the National Anthem, SPHS Senior Class President Young Song welcoming the large crowd seated in the bleachers, Senior Class Secretary Jasper then introduced distinguished guests, Principal Janet Anderson presented the Class of 2018, Board of Education President Jon Primuth and Superintendent Geoff Yantz made the presentation of diplomas to the graduates, Senior Class Treasurer Kyle Woo announced the class gift [new flags on the field and throughout campus], Senior Class Vice President Nick Song gave a farewell, and Valedictorians Kate Ba and Will Hoadley-Brill delivered speeches that were well received.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Valedictorian Will Hoadley-Brill delivered a speech entitled “Bubbles”

The latter talked about his favorite episode of SpongeBob called “Atlantis Squarepantis.” In it, SpongeBob and Patrick are travelling to the long lost land of Atlantis. “In the city where streets are paved with gold, they visit the museum where they see the oldest bubble that has ever been blown,” explained Hoadley-Brill. South Pasadena reminds me of that bubble. We have many traditions that have existed long enough to be in Atlantis’ museum. Each year we gather on this very field to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, each month we gather to yell at the school board, and each week the entire city shuts down because a single intersection is closed for the farmers market.”

PHOTO: Shari Correll | SouthPasadenan.com | Ashton Carless gets a hug from Principal Janet Anderson after receiving his diploma

He told those in the packed stadium, “These traditions evoke great nostalgia in every parent and child in South Pasadena as we remember these events with fondness. Our shared experiences as a city have created an insulated environment that has allowed us to grow safely and under the careful watch of our guardians and mentors.”

Hoadley-Brill went on to tell the crowd that South Pasadena High School is a bubble.

PHOTO: Shari Correll | SouthPasadenan.com | An excited grad shows his enthusiasm to the crowd

“We are given the educational tools to grow as students and develop our social circles with an uncountable amount of resources to help us along the way,” he said. “But even within this micro-bubble, there are friend groups, clubs, sports teams, off campus organizations, and a variety of other identifiers that have provided students with a sense of safety in whatever bubble suits them best.”

For Hoadley Brill, living in a bubble has been an experience of great inclusion, kindness, and a general sense of someone always having your back. “Bubbles do, however, have their limits,” he explained “They can only stretch so far before they are forced to pop. And for the class of 2018, it is time to pop our bubble.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | SPHS Senior Class President Young Song welcome those on hand for the 2018 graduation

But let’s not let the safety and openness that the bubble of South Pasadena has provided be taken for granted. This bubble has allowed us to grow into who we are today.”

He encouraged his fellow graduates to take the lessons they have learned in South Pasadena and “breach new bubbles – whether that be the bubble of a college campus, a new job, a new genre of music, or a new hobby,” he explained. “When you pop your bubble, do not let its history be forgotten.”

Speaking to the class of 2018, Hoadley-Brill noted near the conclusion of his speech: “As you prepare your needles, don’t forget that the weightless power of the South Pasadenan bubble is what is carrying you to your new endeavors.”

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Valedictorian Kate Ba delivered a speech entitled “Embrace Adventure.”

In her speech entitled, “Embrace Adventure,” Ba asked her classmates “Do you remember when we were all kids, and life seemed so much sweeter? When our days were made when we had two servings of ice cream, or our lives seemed forever complete as long as magic was real. We all had imaginary adventures with knights or wizards or pokémon. We all lived life on the edge by running around doing reckless things. We all laughed easily, showering the world with our excitement.”

PHOTO: Shari Correll | SouthPasadenan.com | The excited crowd at SPHS Graduation 2018

Ba, continuing, wondered out loud: “What happened; what caused us to lose a bit of that spark, that enthusiasm? The inessential things.”

Growing older, life’s picture became clearer. “We started caring too much about what the world saw of us, letting fear and anxiety weigh on our hearts. We started worrying too much about school—about the grades, the classes, the exams. We started living too much for others, choosing classes we didn’t love and activities we didn’t enjoy.

PHOTO: Shari Correll | SouthPasadenan.com | Graduates received diplomas from Superintendent Geoff Yantz and President of the School Board, Jon Primuth at Tuesday’s graduation ceremony

Added Ba: “These inessential things are inessential because if I asked what truly, deep down, matters to each and every one of you, none of them would be on your list. Instead, what’s crucial is our sense of happiness, of love, of fulfillment. Our friendships, our families, and all of our loved ones.”

PHOTO: Shari Correll | SouthPasadenan.com | South Pasadena High School graduates celebrate at the end of the graduation ceremony June 5, 2018

Going forward, Ba is challenging each SPHS graduate, along with herself, “to stay true to our compass of what matters most, what makes you happy. For the big stuff, splurge a little on a mall day every once in a while. Hang out with friends every week, riding roller coasters or hiking mountains or watching movies. But also, and more importantly, figure out fun things to do in between all the big ones too.”

In closing, she stressed, “Live more, live better.”

PHOTO: Shari Correll | SouthPasadenan.com | South Pasadena High School graduates celebrate with the traditional tossing of the caps

Congratulations to South Pasadena High School Class of 2018!

More Photos by Bill Glazier. Complete speeches below photos.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | The presentation of diplomas was made by, from left, Superintendent Geoff Yantz and Board of Education President Jon Primuth. They are joined by SPHS Principal Janet Anderson

Complete Speech: SPHS Graduate Kate Ba – “Embrace Adventure”

To my fellow classmates: congratulations. We made it. Right here, right now, we stand on the verge of graduating and finally crossing the threshold into the mystical “real world.” Now, as a class of seniors our futures are branching away from South Pasadena, as we all pursue our next exciting goals across the country, or even the globe. But regardless of how we all grow away from home, never forget to love life like we did as children, and may have forgotten to as we grew up.

Do you remember when we were all kids, and life seemed so much sweeter? When our days were made when we had two servings of ice cream, or our lives seemed forever complete as long as magic was real. We all had imaginary adventures with knights or wizards or pokémon. We all lived life on the edge by running around doing reckless things. We all laughed easily, showering the world with our excitement.

What happened; what caused us to lose a bit of that spark, that enthusiasm? The inessential things.

We started caring too much about what the world saw of us, letting fear and anxiety weigh on our hearts. We started worrying too much about school—about the grades, the classes, the exams. We started living too much for others, choosing classes we didn’t love and activities we didn’t enjoy.

These inessential things are inessential because if I asked what truly, deep down, matters to each and every one of you, none of them would be on your list. Instead, what’s crucial is our sense of happiness, of love, of fulfillment. Our friendships, our families, and all of our loved ones.

And so, going into the next big part of your life, I challenge each and every one of you, and myself, to stay true to our compass of what matters most: what makes you happy. For the big stuff, splurge a little on a mall day every once in a while. Hang out with friends every week, riding roller coasters or hiking mountains or watching movies. But also, and more importantly, figure out fun things to do in between all the big ones too. Stop living for each weekend, because you know what? Those are literally only 28% of your life. Start figuring out small happinesses for every single day, and make your Mondays not just bearable, but amazing. Stop waking up each morning ready to go back to bed; figure out one thing that would really excite you, and go do that. Be more spontaneous. Live more, live better.

So now, my fellow peers, I wish you all the best of luck. Go forth. Stretch yourselves. Expand your comfort zones. Be bold, be brave. And most of all, embrace this one life we were all given with a profound childlike excitement, as we all go into not just the next stage of our lives, but the next great adventure.

Thank you.

Now, please welcome Will Hoadley-Brill with his speech titled, “Bubbles.”

Complete Speech: SPHS Graduate Will Hoadley-Brill – “Bubbles.”

 My favorite episode of SpongeBob is called “Atlantis Squarepantis.” It tells the story of Spongebob and Patrick travelling to the long lost land of Atlantis. In the city where streets are paved with gold, they visit the museum where they see the oldest bubble that has ever been blown.

South Pasadena reminds me of that bubble. We have many traditions that have existed long enough to be in Atlantis’ museum. Each year we gather on this very field to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, each month we gather to yell at the school board, and each week the entire city shuts down because a single intersection is closed for the farmers market.

These traditions evoke great nostalgia in every parent and child in South Pasadena as we remember these events with fondness. Our shared experiences as a city have created an insulated environment that has allowed us to grow safely and under the careful watch of our guardians and mentors.

Additionally, within this bubble there are hundreds more. South Pasadena High School is a bubble. We are given the educational tools to grow as students and develop our social circles with an uncountable amount of resources to help us along the way.

But even within this micro-bubble, there are friend groups, clubs, sports teams, off campus organizations, and a variety of other identifiers that have provided students with a sense of safety in whatever bubble suits them best.

Living in a bubble has been an experience of great inclusion, kindness, and a general sense of someone always having your back. Bubbles do, however, have their limits. They can only stretch so far before they are forced to pop. And for the class of 2018, it is time to pop our bubble.

But let’s not let the safety and openness that the bubble of South Pasadena has provided be taken for granted. This bubble has allowed us to grow into whom we are today, so take the lessons that you have learned here and breach new bubbles – whether that be the bubble of a college campus, a new job, a new genre of music, or a new hobby. When you pop your bubble, do not let its history be forgotten.

So to the class of 2018, as you prepare your needles, don’t forget that the weightless power of the South Pasadenian bubble is what is carrying you to your new endeavors.

And to the parents and family members of the graduating class, remember, as SpongeBob once sang, “Ever blown must someday pop.”

 

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