MONROVIA – Wildcat Stadium roared as administrators, teachers, and family and friends celebrated 367 Class of 2019 graduates who said goodbye to Monrovia High School during an evening commencement ceremony on June 5.

This year’s commencement ceremony was dedicated in memory of senior Kelsey Meza and MHS teacher Tom Reale, who passed away this school year. Amongst the sea of graduates, an empty seat was set up next to Meza’s best friends, and her diploma was presented to her family.

“Look at yourselves and look around you – 12 long years of education and I am proud to be representing this Class of 2019,” valedictorian Penny Lan said. “I see in front of me such a variety of talent and limitless protentional, but don’t forget where we came from. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”

The 2019 Honor Guard was made up of more than 60 Monrovia Unified teachers, coaches, and counselors who applauded and cheered. The honor guard was nominated by the Class of 2019 for the continued inspiration and support members give to students.

“When I look at this group of graduates, I see many different stories and I see leaders,” Principal Kirk McGinnis said. “These young adults are poised to change the world as we know it, and they will put a mark on humanity with both flair and purpose but – more importantly – with energy, intelligence, and a sense of service to something bigger than themselves.”

The night of celebration continued as Santa Fe Computer Science Magnet School Principal Geoff Zamarripa delivered a keynote address, inspiring students to continue following their dreams and take risks.

The 2019 graduating class includes 160 students recognized with special honors, 91 Golden State Merit Diploma graduates, 51 students who earned the State of California Seal of Biliteracy, 59 members of the ninth graduating class of the Math and Science Academy, and 14 members of the second graduating class of the Humanities Academy.

“It is my honor to receive and accept this graduation class of Monrovia High School,” Board President Ed Gililland said. “We know that you have done the hard work to acquire the knowledge and the life skills to be successful wherever your next steps take you.”

Ending the night, graduates walked on stage and were congratulated by the Board of Education, MHS administrators, and Superintendent Katherine Thorossian.

“Having hope and a plan will lead you to the most unexpected and remarkable places,” Thorossian said. “Enjoy the journey and continue to give your family and friends reasons to be proud, celebrate, and take pride in you. Congratulations Wildcats.”

Students turned their tassels from right to left, threw their caps in the air, and hugged each other as McGinnis acknowledged them as the new graduating class of MHS.


06.05.19_MUSD_Graduation 1: Valedictorian Penny Lan delivers speech during Monrovia High School’s graduation ceremony on June 5, encouraging members of the Class of 2019 to always chase their dreams and never forget where they came from.

06.05.19_MUSD_Graduation 2: A Monrovia High School graduate acknowledges his friends and family in the bleachers after receiving his diploma during Monrovia High School’s graduation ceremony on June 5.