Galt High School’s class of 2021 stepped into Warrior Stadium with a sense of triumph on June 4. Their graduation ceremony was the first to be held in the arena since its renovation, and it represented the students’ success despite the difficulties of schooling over the Internet.
Draped in their leis, stoles and graduation gowns, with glitter, mini flags and silk flowers on their mortarboards, the graduates took their seats to cheers from the bleachers.
In a bilingual welcoming speech, students Xochitl Perez Velez and Jose Moises Ramos Gonzalez thanked friends, family and faculty members.
“Without your support, we might not be at this ceremony today, especially after this difficult year navigating the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said. “But because of your help and guidance, we are ready for the future.”
The salutatorian, Casey Burnau, counted the lessons learned at Galt High, from the fact that “swag is forever” to the importance of accepting losses and taking pride in wins. She added, “Galt High has shown us to be on time for our classes. Freshman year, we sprinted to dodge tardy sweeps, but our senior year, we Zoomed.”
Athletes who have excelled both on the field and in the classroom also got moments in the spotlight. The school honored its athletes of the year, Sabrina Welch and Braiyan Cortez, as well as two scholar athletes, who have the highest GPAs among sports-program participants: Elena Neuburger and Gabriel Ortega.
The high school staff recognized six students with the Red and White G Award for displaying “kindness, bravery, honesty and true leadership”: Perez Velez, Ortega, Pharoh Tapia, Josue Gonzalez, Emma Hand and the valedictorian, Myracle Franco.
In her speech, Franco reflected on the deeper theme of the socially distanced school year: “staying connected while being apart.”
“Despite being apart, we connected with our peers, friends and teachers. Being online was our only form of communication, but that never dimmed our Warrior spirit,” Franco said.
Franco asked fellow classmates to “listen, learn and connect with various opinions” after graduation.
“Learn to understand and respect the other side and widen your view,” she said.
After receiving their diplomas, the students rose and moved their tassels as fireworks burst overhead.
For more Galt High School graduation photos, log on to ospgo.com/1bij. Password: GHS2021