Hillcrest High School’s class of 2023 crossed the stage on Saturday, May 27 at Alfred J. Loos.
The class consisted of 325 students, and graduates’ plans include attending college or university, enlisting in the military, and going straight into the workforce.
Principal Terrence Florie opened the commencement ceremony. The class of 2023 is the first to graduate during his reign as principal.
“To the class of 2023, on behalf of the entire Hillcrest High School faculty, staff, and community, we thank you for giving us your best and want to wish you a heartfelt congratulations,” Florie said.
Salutatorian Gloria Rodriguez was next to speak, touching on the importance of continued growth and learning.
“Our graduation may mark our last day as high school students,” Rodriguez said. “However, it is definitely not the end of our path of learning.”
Valedictorian Andrea Tchinda Machedjou also gave a speech. In her time at Hillcrest, Tchinda Machedjou was the captain of the basketball team, part of the Black Student Union, and a National Honor Society scholar. Machedjou will major in computer science at Harvard University in the fall.
In her speech, Tchinda Machedjou thanked God and congratulated her classmates for all they have accomplished in the last four years. She emphasized the importance of their perseverance through high school struggles, including the pandemic and online schooling, and encouraged her peers to continuing working hard beyond high school.
“To everyone in here, keep going, not only because of yourself, but because someone out there needs you,” Tchinda Machedjou said. “Someone out there needs to see that you did it so they can do it too.”
Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde and District 1 trustee Dr. Edwin Flores affirmed the certification of the graduates; then, the graduates walked the stage to receive their diplomas.