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Dublin High School Class of 2013 Commencement: “The Journey”

June 15, 2013
Valedictorian Malina Jiang

Valedictorian Malina Jiang

Thursday June 13, 2013 turned out to be a lucky day for the Dublin High School Class of 2013, the 43rd graduating class. A week after a heat wave forced the cancellation of a the Del Oro High School commencement ceremony in Sacramento when heat sickness sent five people to local hospitals, perfect weather welcomed Dublin High’s graduating class. Dublin High’s Class of 2013 also featured two sets of triplets (Toni – Tori – Troy Ship, and Anastacia – Trinity – Katarina Sims), and six sets of twins (Celine -Mireille Darby, Hayley – Ryan Durflinger, Allison – Brittany Mitchell, Garrett – Ryan Passmore, Matthew – Ryan Victoriano and Hailey -Megan Zummo).

Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and educators gathered at the Alameda County Fairgrounds Amphitheater for the last time on Thursday June 13, 2013, with the ceremony returning to Dublin High School for the Class of 2014 commencement. According to Principal Carol Shimizu, continued growth at the school and completion of major construction on campus (as the new Center for Performing Arts and Education opens in winter 2014) opens the door for returning the ceremony to Dublin.

The event included speeches and presentations by Dublin High School Gael Scholar Ryan McRee (who is attending the University of Southern California this Fall to study Theatre, and who was awarded a full scholarship), Dublin High Alumni Association Representative and City of Dublin Council Member David Haubert, Principal Carol Shimizu and Assistant Principal Theresa Young, School Board Trustee Sean Kenney, City of Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, Senior Class President Randi Nguyen and Senior Class Vice President Hillary Santuya. The Dublin High Color Guard and Band, bagpiper Jeff Campbell and members of the Air Force Color Guard brought fanfare to the ceremony. The full text of Mr. McRee’s speech is included below. had the honor and privilege to attend the event, capturing highlights on video including a time-lapse movie of the diploma presentations (compressing over 45 minutes down to just 5 minutes):

This year’s theme was “The Journey” – and the Class of 2013 has a lot to celebrate. Over 97% of Dublin High’s Class of 2013 will be attending college this Fall, including Stanford, Brown, US Air Force Academy, Cornell, Duke, Purdue, every University of California (UC), every CSU campus and and many more.

Dublin High’s students continued to drive academic excellence forward increasing the school’s API to 880. Dublin High’s visual and performing arts, and athletic programs also brought home awards and recognition.

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The moment every high school student waits for – the traditional turning of the tassels led by senior class president Randi Nguyen:

For those who couldn’t attend (and for those that want to relive some of the highlights) here is more from the memorable event:

Dublin High School Gael Scholar Ryan McRee

Dublin High School Senior Class President Randi Nguyen and Vice President Hillary Santuya

Dublin High School Principal Carol Shimizu

Dublin High School Alumni Association Representative David Haubert

DUSD Board of Trustees Vice President Sean Kenney

Gael Scholar Ryan McRee:

“Class of 2013, welcome to the world.

“That’s all I’ve got. In all my experience in performing and giving speeches, I’ve learned that just because you give someone a microphone or make them the center of attention doesn’t mean they have any clue of what to say. But that was the most significant thing I could come up with. “Welcome to the world.” I took writing this speech very seriously, and I really treated it like a homework assignment. And so as soon as I ran out of ideas of what to write, I got on Facebook. The senior class has this group on Facebook where we can post our college decisions with pictures of our school and what our major is. I spent a couple of minutes scrolling down the page, looking at all the beautiful campuses and the interesting and diverse plans people have made for themselves, and I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.

“Our fellow students, seniors, classmates and friends are all going in such different directions. We have students going to community colleges, four-year universities, the military, the workforce… We have students staying local, traveling across the state, or the country… We’ll have alumni in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Arizona, Oklahoma, Canada! Dublin High is producing scientists that will make groundbreaking discoveries in medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering! It is producing politicians who will represent us and govern us with a fair and just hand. It is producing artists whose writing, music, films, pictures, visual masterpieces and performances will entertain us and change the way we see the world. It is producing athletes who will dazzle us with their spectacular feats of strength, endurance, and skill. Entrepreneurs who will change the way business is run with new innovations and ingenuity, philanthropists who will work to make the lives of the less fortunate a little easier to bear. Teachers who will produce the next generation of all these things. We have students majoring in psych, accounting, culinary arts, economics, journalism, mathematics, and all forms of science! We even have a student majoring in football!

“And then there are a lot of us who don’t really know what we wanna do with our lives. And I look at our parents and I’m not sure you ever really figure it out. But that’s okay, because it’s all about the journey. It’s about trying new things, and exploring, and discovering new things about yourself and the world around you, and never settling for less than you could have. Life is about dynamic and change, and making an impact. This age, and the change that we’re all going through right now is a rite of passage, in which we’re all given a piece of the world to call our own and do with it what we will. Each generation redefines what it means to be a human being. We’re gonna decide how we want to look at the world, and we’re gonna develop opinions, and we’re going to write laws and make changes and try to make the world a place in which we want to live, that suits us and our beliefs. And then we’re gonna get older and our kids are going to take all of the good things we did and ruin them, but that’s okay! Because we said what we needed to say, and we did what we needed to do, and we left a mark. A legacy that will remain on this Earth until long after we’re gone. We all have an individual voice now. And the way we choose to use that voice and what we say will define who we are. But it’s not going to be easy. We all have different voices, and when we’re all using them sometimes it will seem overwhelming. Sometimes it’ll seem as if we’re all shouting for our voice to be heard, and everyone’s trying so hard to shout over each other that all we hear is a jumbled mess of noise. But not today. Today we will experience one of those rare and beautiful moments in which we’re all shouting in unison. Today we will share a voice, as we shout together and we all shout the exact same thing, and what we shout will resonate across the city and the state and the country, and the entire planet will hear us. And what we shout will be, ‘Class of 2013, welcome to the world.’ Thank you.”

Dublin High School Class of 2013 Commencement 4