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In honor of Indian initiative

Posted: May 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Biology teacher Bob Jolley, left, joins other faculty members in welcoming graduating seniors to Hart High School’s graduation ceremony at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday.

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The oldest high school in the Santa Clarita Valley saw 455 new faces graduate Wednesday, as Hart High School’s graduating class of 2011 marched on the  football field at College of the Canyons’ Cougar Stadium for Hart’s commencement ceremony.

As the procession of Hart grads — girls in regal red gowns, boys in austere black ones — filed down the steps to the football field, lit up by the setting sun, walking proudly to “Pomp And Circumstance,” family and friends of the grads settled in for an evening dotted with vocal performances by Hart singers.

One of those families screamed and whistled for Hart graduate Krista Michelle McMullen.

“She’s very excited,” said her father, Jay, from the stands. “This is a perfect Santa Clarita night for a graduation.
“She’s my little girl. I’m just so proud of her.”

As Krista neared the 30-yard line, following the procession through the waiting folded chairs, her mother, brother and sister yelled and screamed.

“She’s looking for us,” said her mother, Teri Ward. “She sees us, she sees us.”

And, as she and the other grads found their seats, the speeches written to send them on their way began.

Alexandria Barnum sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” which ushered in a welcoming speech from Hart Principal Dr. Collyn Nielsen.

Kayce Perkins, who gave the first of two student commencement addresses, “triple-dog dared” everyone in the stands and all the grads to “take the initiative and disturb the universe.”

Evan Winger, who spoke after her, quoted Jack Kerouac and reminded grads not to fear the unknown.

“We’re all a little taller, a little wiser and we’re all wearing these ridiculous hats,” he said. “We’re incredibly excited and anxious, but we still don’t have any idea what the future holds.

“There is no limit to what we can accomplish,” he said. “Be confused. You never know what great things will happen.”

After the commencement speeches were done, Miky Tayoba sang John Legend’s “If You’re Out There.”

Officials from Hart High, which opened in 1945, allowed the class of 2011 to share in the school’s long history, inviting it to lend its voices in its own alma mater chant, led by Everett Bichara, Corrine Johnson, Carly Moniz, Caitlin Rudd, Cassie Schmitt and Colin Sickafoose.

The school’s motto is “alive with pride,” and it was evident on just about every grad face under a “ridiculous” mortarboard hat.

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