More than 530 Highland Park High School seniors crossed the stage at the school’s graduation ceremony Friday at the Moody Coliseum.
The class of 533 includes two U.S. Presidential Scholar candidates, 14 National Merit finalists, 28 National Merit commended students, 14 National Hispanic Recognition Program scholars, two National African American Recognition Program scholars, and one National Indigenous Recognition Program scholar.
The valedictorian of the class of 2022 is Daniel Carillo, who participated in both the Academic Decathlon team and the Latin Club while in high school.
“Our high school experience has been anything but ordinary” Carrillo’s senior bio reads. “But I am eternally grateful that our senior year has been relatively normal, and with all of our impressive academic and athletic achievements and passionate community service, I know that the Class of 2022’s futures will only be brighter.”
The class of 2022 saw a tie for salutatorian between Justin Li, who served as captain of both the HPHS UIL Math and Science teams for the last two years, individually won a total of five state championships and led the team to six championships in the categories of Number Sense, Mathematics, and Science during his time at Highland Park, and Clare Wu, a National Merit Commended Student who also earned recognition as an AP Scholar with Distinction.
“We’ll approach tomorrow with no fear — only passion, and fortitude. The future is in our hands, and this task may (appear) daunting, we’ll have our lifelong friends and mentors to guide us along the way,” Li said. “Much remains for us … to accomplish, but we’re incredibly well equipped. Our teachers and community provide us with endless inspiration, enthusiasm, and encouragement to last us a lifetime.”
“I know the class I see before me is unlike any other, so while it’s a scary thought that everything that we’ve known up to this point is about to dissolve into memory, above all, I think everyone here is proud of what they’ve been able to achieve by just being here, and I’m just a little excited about what’s to come,” said Wu.
Juliet Allan, who made Texas All-State Choir, closed out the evening with a performance of Astonishing by Mindi Dickstein.