On May 29, members of the senior class will have their graduation ceremony on the quad, with girls clad in white and boys in green, as they celebrate their final days at Paly.
But before their last day, seniors have many activities and events to look forward to, including the traditional Baccalaureate ceremony on May 26 and the senior picnic on May 28. This year, Baccalaureate will be held at the Flint Center at De Anza College from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Senior class president Michael Wang will welcome the students, Stanford’s head football coach David Shaw will be the main speaker and some students will be giving performances.
“We have David Shaw speaking, and I’m very excited about that,” Wang said. “I will be speaking there, and we have a lot of performances lined up courtesy of Mr. Najar. It’s going to be a great event and I’m very excited.”
The senior class picnic follows two days after Baccalaureate. For the senior picnic, planned by the Parent Teacher Student Association, seniors will attend a continental breakfast in the morning and a mandatory graduation rehearsal before boarding buses and spending a day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
All throughout the following week, seniors have graduation practice to look forward to in preparation for the final graduation. During graduation, Principal Phil Winston and the Associated Student Body (ASB) President Jessica Tam will deliver the welcome speech.
That night will also feature three more speakers that have not yet been chosen. Candidates submitted the online version of their speeches Friday, May 17 and had the in-person tryouts Tuesday, May 21. The graduation speakers will be chosen by a panel of faculty judges; the judging panel will choose three speakers.
They are looking for, in three to five minutes, a story that shares the students’ experience at Paly in an engaging and authentic way.
“They’re looking for someone unique whose voice really shines through,” Tam said.
At the end of graduation, seniors will board a bus and head off to a surprise that awaits them at the Grad Night Party.
As graduation nears, many seniors reminisce on their high school experiences and their favorite moments. For Tam, her favorite is being a part of the in the Paly community.
“From both the perspective of an ASB member and as a student, I don’t think I have ever felt more proud to be a student at Palo Alto High School,” Tam said. “I’m really going to miss Paly and being a part of the Paly community — it’s really the students and the people at Paly that make the school amazing. I know most students dread going to school everyday, but I actually look forward to seeing all of my friends and teachers. So I guess that’s my favorite part about Paly: the people.”