Class of 2018’s voices heard at Point Loma’s graduation
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 06/15/18 - 04:21 PM | 8059 views | 3 3 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The ceremony ends with the traditional tossing of caps into the air. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
The ceremony ends with the traditional tossing of caps into the air. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
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ASB President Charlie Ekstrom welcomes a huge crowd. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
ASB President Charlie Ekstrom welcomes a huge crowd. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
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One graduate couldn't wait to dance before receiving his diploma. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
One graduate couldn't wait to dance before receiving his diploma. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
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Senior class president Andrew Bass leads the tassle-turning moment. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
Senior class president Andrew Bass leads the tassle-turning moment. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
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The class was led by, from left, co-valedictorians Kyle Grady and Jonathan Omens and salutatorian Kevin Mather. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
The class was led by, from left, co-valedictorians Kyle Grady and Jonathan Omens and salutatorian Kevin Mather. / Photo by Scott Hopkins
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A recurring theme of Point Loma High School's 93rd commencement ceremony last Wednesday was "Voices."

In congratulating the approximately 415 members of the Class of 2018, principal Hans Becker noted that one characteristic of the group was its voice, citing the students' rallies and outcry in support of gun control after recent school shootings.

Earlier in his speech, co-valedictorian Jonathan Omens spoke of a poster he saw in the classroom of popular history teacher Glenn Richard. It featured a photo of author Kurt Vonnegut and a quote: "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."

Omens admitted he was scared at this thought when he first saw the poster as an underclassman but now, in retrospect, he realized every high school class in history has made mistakes.

"We're all going to make mistakes but we can't let that be what defines our class," Omens said. "If we own our mistakes and come back from them even stronger then we have what it takes (voices) to be defined by our successes and not our failures."

Omens said he now feels confident in his classmates' ability to someday run the country.

For co-valedictorian Kyle Grady, it was a recent trip to India followed by traveling alone through 11 European countries that taught him the value of non-verbal communication. He often found himself in situations where he was unable to communicate (voices) with local people when, for instance, he was trying to locate a hostel for the night.

Grady said he learned the value of a smile in communicating with those he sought help from on the streets and in stores, a universal recipe for interacting with others.

The Class of 2018 is headed to universities from Hawaii to New Hampshire and has been awarded over $2 million in scholarships. Sixteen are attending SDSU, nine will go to UC San Diego, five will be at PLNU, six at CSU San Marcos. Six are entering local junior colleges and several are joining the armed services.

About 210 of the graduates were honor roll members, earning grade point averages of 3.3 or higher.

And yes, Jonathan, maybe you will wake up some morning and find members of this class are running the country.
Comments
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Momens
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June 16, 2018
Nice Arricle Scott. Thank you for your support of PLHS. The kids and teachers have been great.
Eric Awes
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June 15, 2018
51 years ago today ( June 15, 1967) my class graduated from PLHS. Reading this article brings back fond memories of that day !!
Scott Hopkins
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June 16, 2018
Thank you for the comment Eric. As a member of your class, we had over 700 students! I don't know how the stands held all those who came to celebrate with us. Maybe back in the day it was only mom, dad and maybe grandparents? Now it's aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The crowd overflowed onto the field and there were hundreds of others behind the stands where refreshments were sold. But it never ceases to be a special and memorable day! "Once a Pointer, Always a Pointer!"
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