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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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ConGRADulations, Class of 2024

Divij Motwani
The Palo Alto High School Class of 2024 prepares to graduate in Viking Stadium on Thursday in a ceremony accompanied by music and speeches. Senior Sid Senn spoke to the Class of 2024’s work ethic. “Either we let our hopes and dreams slide by or we grit our teeth and pull through,” Senn said. “For Paly’s Class of 2024, I know it’s often the latter.”

“I am honored to say that by the State of California and the Palo Alto Unified School District, the Class of 2024 has completed the graduation requirements for finishing high school.”

These were the words spoken by PAUSD Board of Education Vice President Shana Segal moments before diplomas were distributed.

Graduation caps with colorful references to universities filled the Viking Stadium during the Class of 2024 graduation ceremony this afternoon.

Celebratory performances were presented throughout the program.

In spite of difficulties with audio, seniors Annalise Klenow, Rori Escudero and Maximilian Rabbitt-Tomita, on the guitar, performed the pop song “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane.

PAUSD Superintendent Don Austin later commended how the musicians handled the sound issues.

“When you three came up and had sound issues, I watched a hundred decisions be considered at once,” Austin said. “I watched you look at each other, I watched you problem solve without saying a word, I watched you problem solve. Then one of you turned and said ‘Keep going.’ As graduates, you are going to go off and have a lot of things not go to plan. You’re going to have choices to make at the moment. If you have the option to blame someone else for what just happened, to quit, to complain, or to look your teammate in the face and say keep going, choose to keep going. That inspires people; that is what leaders do. ”

The band played music from the film “La La Land” and the choir sang Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.”

Senior class president Bella Nguyen gave a speech after the diploma distribution before the Class of 2024 threw their caps in the air.

“I can’t wait to see where the world will take us. Better yet, where we take the world,” Nguyen said.

Associated Student Body Director Steven Gallagher, who was responsible for organizing the program as one of his last acts before returning full time to teaching social studies, said he was thrilled with the event.

“The most exciting part for everyone is just hearing their names and going across [the stage],” Gallagher said. “This is their moment. They’ve earned it. In schools since kindergarten, this is their moment to get recognized.”

According to senior Hadas Hart, the event was well anticipated throughout the last few weeks of school.

“I was really looking forward to the graduation,” Hart said. “I feel like graduating high school is one of the first main achievements in life so it’s exciting to experience that.”

An InFocus live stream of the graduation is accessible here.

Editor’s Note: Additional reporting from Opinion Editor Motoko Iwata.

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About the Contributors
Ava Knapp
Ava Knapp, News Editor
Ava Knapp (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. She does cross country/track and field and plays the piano.
Kristine Lin
Kristine Lin, Managing Editor
Kristine Lin (Class of 2025) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys going on scenic hikes, taking road trips, and traveling to new places.

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