May 26, 2017
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA— Seniors have been preparing for this celebration of academic achievement for years.
After completing classes and final exams, the Class of 2017 proudly donned caps and gowns marking their final chapter in high school on Thursday.
In total, over 1,400 Walnut Valley Unified School District seniors participated in commencement ceremonies on May 25.
During Diamond Bar High’s 34th commencement, 739 graduates filed into the Walt Holmes Stadium waving to family members in the audience.
The Thundering Herd band played Pomp and Circumstance during the processional as each graduate took their place on the field.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet, but I’m excited for the future!” said Ariana Gonzalez who performed the national anthem.
“I have a lot of great memories and being in choir for all for years defined my high school experience.”
The teens soon settled into their seats ready to listen to parting words from school leaders and peers before receiving the pivotal symbol of all their hard work - a diploma.
“We’re going to miss you, Class of 2017. You are our gold standard and we wish you all the best in your endeavors!” said Principal Reuben Jones.
“I have been looking forward to this day for so long. But, now that it’s here, I don’t know how to say goodbye,” said student body president David Song.
“Peering out from this stage and seeing the crowd, the story of our lives is in great hands. Never let someone else hold the pen for the book of your life!” Song added.
Two of the school’s 23 valedictorians, Jessica Au and Jezell Lee, delivered the commencement address.
“Promise me you will never measure your worth with numbers or words on paper,” Au said.
“But that you will continue to value character of tangible accomplishments and hold friendships we have with others above all.”
The graduates marked the final moments together by turning their tassels and celebrating as fireworks filled the sky.
Au and Lee encouraged fellow classmates to “dare to disturb the universe and challenge it,” referring to a poem by T.S. Eliot.
“Descend the stairs, you’ve done that here already. Go ahead disturb the universe, shake it by the shoulders and rattle the stars!”
Congratulations to the following Diamond Bar High Valedictorians graduating with highest honors: Jessica Au, Kamryn Chang, Benjamin Chen, Connie Chen, Eden Chen, William He, Brandon Hung, Peyrin Kao, Sining Kong, Aaron Lee, Jezell Lee, Derrick Li, Jyllian Nissen, Zaid Parekh, Janette Park, Edwin Que, Peter Thompson, Sabrina Tseng, Zang Ching Tsui, Amanda Wu, Jessica Zhang, Joanna Zhang, and Liyu Zhang.
Eleven International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Candidates completed the rigorous academic program: Paul Bang, Simardeep Cheema, Lauryn Del Campo, Wesley Goo, Yasmeen Halabi, Daphne He, Samantha Lim, Jodie Lu, Justin Ofori, Yu-Chen Wu, and Tyler Yee.
At Walnut High School, 656 Mustangs participated in graduation ceremonies at the Ken Gunn Stadium. Congratulations to Valedictorians: Kyra Chen, Yi Dai, Stephanie Djajadi, Melody Hsu, Sarah Kim, Brandon Lai, Rachel Lee, Ben Limpanukorn, Cynthia Lu, Evan Sentoso, Shaunak Shah, Phyllis Yu, and Inez Zung.
IB Certificate Candidates: Farhan Baig, Kathryn Laurren Carlos, Yuna Chae, Kyra Chen, Anna Chiang, Brittany Chiu, Crystal Han, Rebecca Hu, Vince Hung, Katherine Hwang, Audrey Lau, Rachael Lau, Cynthia Lu, Jefferson Naung, Katie Nhan, Mariah Quintero, Rajasri Rajkumar, Lisa Shen, Yumma Siddique, Yusra Siddique, William Sosropoartono, Christopher Su, Evelyne Tantry, Jason Wang, Brian Zeng, and Angela Zhang.
IB Career-Related Program-Project Lead The Way (IBCP-PLTW) Candidates: Kevin Cao, David Castillo, Harrison Chang, Emily Chavez, Alisha Chen, Erin De Anda, Hailey Egans, Celine Etenia, Jewelia Favela, Caitlin Fu, Victoria Gridiron, Mariam Habbak, Emily Honng, Hannah Karimi, Hannah Kawate, Dante Kruise, Jonathan Lamarque, Vanessa Langarica, Ana Liang, Iris Lopez, Sheryl Ly, Brittany Mark, Jon Mirto, Joshue Morales, Ayesha Ng, Bunmi Orunesajo, Tristan Park, Andrew Shiang, Samantha Siu, Jonathan Vigil, Cameron Walker, Yu Cheng Wang, Nicolas Wong, Kevin Yu, Briseis Yue, Aaron Yueng, and Jessica Zimecki.
739 Brahmas wearing purple caps and gowns marched across the stage to collect diplomas during commencement on May 24.
Diamond Bar High valedictorians Jessica Au and Jezell Lee delivered the commencement address.
Diamond Bar High valedictorians Jezell Lee, shown, and Jezell Lee deliver commencement address.
Student Body President David Song delivers message to classmates.
Diamond Bar High 2017 graduates enjoy speeches during ceremony.
Purple Pride, Gold Standard! Diamond Bar High valedictorians and IB diploma candidates receive medals.
Diamond Bar High seniors receive diplomas during 34th commencement on May 25.
Diamond Bar High grads gather in gymnasium before ceremony on May 24.