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Applause and cheers filled the air of Griffith Gymnasium Saturday as the 247 members of the class of 2011 gathered one last time to celebrate what might be one of the greatest accomplishments of their high school careers: graduation.
The graduates’ families and friends packed the bleachers in support of the students. The Los Alamos High School Commencement Band performed the processional, while the LAHS NJROTC opened the ceremony and presented the colors.
Graduating senior Keanna Cohen introduced student speaker, graduating senior Bahram Banisadr, who addressed the crowd and spoke about the future for 2011 graduates and their accomplishments, so far.
“If you were to try to characterize the class of 2011, you would have to put on shades — because we’re too bright to look at. You would have to wear gloves because we’re too sharp to touch,” Banisadr said. “You would have to wear hot mitts because we are too hot to handle. In short, we are kind of a big deal.”
Following Banisadr’s speech, graduating senior Peter Song introduced teacher speaker Margo Batha, after which, graduating senior Tiffany Chen introduced LAHS Principal Sandra Warnock, who presented the graduating class.
The band then played, “We Are the World 25 for Haiti,” directed by Paula Nichols, with words and music by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, arranged by Jay Althouse. Catherine Puranananda read the names of the graduates, while Los Alamos Board of Education President Melanie McKinley and LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt presented the diplomas.
Graduating senior Erik Edelmann, who was incorrectly identified as the valedictorian in a photo published in the Los Alamos Monitor on Sunday, closed the ceremony, followed by the recessional, “Academic Festival Overture,” composed by Johannes Brahms and performed by the LAHS commencement band.
The Class of 2011 chose construction barrel orange as their class color; the daisy as their class flower; “Going to College,” by Blink 182 as their class song; and “On a scale of 1 to 10, we’re an 11,” as their class quote.
Honor graduates were: Bahram Banisadr, Lindsay Benage, Eli Berg, Suzanne Birdsell, Shannon Blair, Isaac Borrego, Shannon Burns, Nicholas Castano, Tiffany Chen, Eli Chertkov, Monica Clodius, Keanna Cohen, Edward Dai, Erik Edelmann, Chase Haveman, Alexander Kendrick, Adam Lang, Matthew Leslie, David Li, Thomas Liu, Martin Loncaric, Alison Mercer-Smith, Meghan Montoya, Miranda Mundt, Miranda Olinger, Aubrie Powell, Ellen Rabin, Mika Reagor, Alisa Romero, Matthew Schauer, Mikhail Skurikhin, Brett Snow, Peter Song, Natalie Swinhoe, Emily Tencate and Meredith Webster.