The football stands at Culver City High School were packed Friday evening as family and friends gathered to celebrate the graduation of about 550 seniors from and .
One of the main themes of the evening was the schools’ inclusiveness. Culver City High Associated Student Body President Lukas O’Conner cited a list of student groups that highlighted the students’ variety of interests—everything from Interact Club to Band of Bikers to the Gay-Straight Alliance.
“It is a place where cultures are accepted and unite, and diversity surrounds you like no place else,” O’Conner said.
Culver City High School principal Dylan Farris likewise lauded the students for their open minds.
“You accept people as they are with all of their many differences. This is what makes Culver City not just a good school, but a great one,” Farris said.
Not all the speeches were entirely rosy. Karlo Silbiger, president of the Culver City Unified School District Board of Education acknowledged that he left his “happy, inspirational, funny speech at home” and stressed repeatedly that “our society is broken.” He praised President Barack Obama for two of his recent stands; supporting gay marriage marriage and immigrant children, and called on the graduates to act unselfishly and create a better world to pass on to the next generation.
“Looking out only for ourselves, supporting only what has a direct impact on us and making decisions primarily based on the personal potential gain has to be a thing of the past,” Silbiger said.
Valedictorian Samuel Cappoli closed out his speech on an emotional note.
“I would just like to say how honored I am to be a part of this graduating class… you’re not just my peers and acquaintances but some of my best friends. I will truly miss you... But enough of the sappy feelings and nostalgia—now is the time for us to finally go out and show the world what we’re made of.”