‘Nicest senior class’ ever lauded at Park City High School commencement ceremony
Park Record intern
Rain pummeled the Park City area in the week leading up to the Park City High School graduation ceremony. On Friday evening, however, Mother Nature was nice to the nicest-ever class of PCHS seniors.
Parents, peers, and proud community members filed into Dozier Field, spilling onto the surrounding grass. The stadium was full of bittersweet feelings and cameras to capture the moment. The graduates waited anxiously in disbelief that the day they had so longingly looked to was finally there.
There were 366 graduates in total, with almost 10 percent of the class made up of students who will attend a university for the first time in their family’s history, said Park City High School Principal Roger Arbabi. Arbabi took pride in the graduating class and had confidence in their future.
“I’m just so proud of you all. I know you have the skills to go out and thrive,” Arbabi said, addressing the graduates.
Noting the Class of 2019 is the first to have all students born in the 2000s, Arbabi noted the graduating class was well suited to go and conquer the ever-changing job market that relies heavily on the internet and other technologies.
“You are native digital users, you don’t even remember a world before Snapchat, much less before the internet,” he said.
Throughout the graduation commencement, speakers highlighted one particular trait the graduates shared: kindness. Claire Oberg, the class’s salutatorian, referred to the Class of 2019 as the “hashtag nicest senior class Park City High School has ever seen.” The class, for instance, formed a group chat with the hopes of leaving a legacy of being nice to one another and cultivating a community where everyone felt involved and welcomed.
The graduating class was also the first to give a senior gift in over a decade, said Class President Claire Booth. The students also raised thousands of dollars for local nonprofits. The class worked hard in hopes of leaving a legacy, and it was evident the students had achieved their goal when Arbabi thanked them for it.
“Students and the Class of 2019, thank you for the gift of being the nicest class,” Arbabi said.
Many of the speakers also noted the quality of their education, describing it as world-class, and reflected on the lifelong lessons they learned within the halls of PCHS.
“We have learned quite a few lessons about life and ourselves that will stay with us beyond the walls of Park City High School,” Booth said.
Sadie Ortiz Gomes, one president of the PCHS Latinos in Action club, acknowledged the hard work of the Latino students in the class who took nothing for granted and were ambitious for their futures.
“Couple that ambition with education, and we will be unstoppable because education is the great equalizer,” she said in her remarks to the crowd.
Many graduates recognized they couldn’t have made it to graduation day without the support of many others. Valedictorian Valentin Astie, for example, thanked everyone, including teachers and counselors who challenged the students, guided them and helped them grow throughout their experience at PCHS.
Cristopher Noe Mora Rubio, another Latinos in Action president, also expressed gratitude for those who had helped them get to graduation day.
“Today belongs to our families, friends, teachers, counselors and committed community members who have empowered us and believed in us. Thank you,” he said.
While much of the ceremony focused on what the graduates have already accomplished, the students also looked forward to their futures. They were excited and eager to start the next chapter in their lives and to see what was in store for them.
“As we hug goodbye and wipe our tears away, this time will mark a brand new start to a life that starts today,” Booth said. “We will try to keep on learning from Scotland to Salt Lake, we will serve and grow as we come to know this life is ours to take.”
Summit County officials may spend the next year readying a state-mandated plan intended to boost the community’s affordable housing supply, but the controversial law could also allow for high-density developments in Kimball Junction.
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