Education

313 SLO High grads are a ‘beautiful reflection of the community,’ principal says

San Luis Obispo High School's 2017 graduation

The sights and sounds of San Luis Obispo High School's 2017 graduation ceremony, including some advice on why shorts are a metaphor for flexibility. More than 300 students celebrated their graduation Friday, June 9, 2017.
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The sights and sounds of San Luis Obispo High School's 2017 graduation ceremony, including some advice on why shorts are a metaphor for flexibility. More than 300 students celebrated their graduation Friday, June 9, 2017.

San Luis Obispo High School’s 313 graduates are “incredible, eclectic and compassionate” students who are a “beautiful reflection of the community,” according to Principal Leslie O’Connor.

The school celebrated commencement for the Class of 2017 at a ceremony Friday evening at Holt Field Stadium.

The valedictorians are Kannan Freyaldenhoven, who will attend University of Pennsylvania, and Sofie Janette, who will attend UC Berkeley. The salutatorian is David Bloom, who will go to Brown University.

The class includes 64 students heading off to California State University campuses, 67 to technical education pathways, 24 to University of California campuses, five to the military and 55 to private and out-of-state universities. More than 100 will take advantage of Cuesta College’s Promise scholarship program, which offers a tuition-free first year for all county high school graduates.

“This year’s class has been engaged in social, academic, athletic, career and civic realms for years in public education,” O’Connor said. “I look forward to the transference of the skills and perspectives they’ve developed, into the world beyond San Luis Obispo High School. This senior class is an incredibly eclectic and compassionate group of students.”

This year’s class won two CIF titles and five PAC 8 League titles in sports, O’Connor said.

Pacific Beach High School

On Thursday, San Luis Obispo’s Pacific Beach High School graduated 35 seniors, many of whom will attend Cuesta or pursue technical careers.

The school’s Principal’s Award (for academic excellence) went to AmandaLyn Wayland; its Green and Gold Award (for perseverance) went to Stephanie Tinoco, Tatiana Alvarado and Frankie Michel, and the John Gyselbrecht Award (best of the human spirit) went to Richard Blue Clark.

“This class had many challenges that most people in SLO will never see or understand, or even fathom,” Principal Andy Marinello said. “They dealt with those challenges with kindness, empathy, resilience, hard work and a positive attitude. They lifted each other up, and gave freely to each other. Virtually all held down jobs, and used that money to help out at home. This was a class of fine individuals.”

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