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A day of triumph and change: Hart High School

Hart graduates hope to make future impact

Posted: June 4, 2009 10:57 p.m.
Updated: June 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart High's John Luppens cheers on his fellow graduates Thursday at College of the Canyons' Cougar Stadium during Hart's 2009 graduation ceremony.

In a Thursday night graduation ceremony punctuated by the occasional beach ball and wave, Hart High School's seniors told the world to be ready for them.

"Change has come to America," senior Jonathan Park said in his commencement address. "But that change is this class of 2009."

The graduates responded with roaring applause.

The ceremony was decidedly laid-back.

Several of the grads wore flower leis, and more than one beach ball emerged from the sea of black and red caps and gowns. Many of the students rose in a wave, shouting, "Wooo!"

Principal Collyn Nielsen urged the class to show heroic integrity and retain a sunny outlook.

"Remember the compliments you receive and forget the insults," Nielsen said. "If you succeed in doing this, please let me know how."

Hart parent Michael Meinardus, 47, said he hopes his daughter, Sara, relished the moment.

"Now your life begins," said Meinardus, who is himself a Hart High graduate, as he watched her from the stands. "Right now."

Other parents said they're looking forward to their kids' achievements.

"I'm extremely proud of my daughter," said Andres Fernandez, 45, of Valencia. His daughter, Adriana, is going to study journalism in New York City.

"I'm really excited to see my kids grow up, and see what they're going to do on their own."

"She has her whole future ahead of her," added Andres' wife, Sophia Fernandez.


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