SAN GABRIEL, CA – San Gabriel Unified School District honored nearly 500 graduates from Gabrielino and Del Mar high schools during commencement ceremonies on May 31 and June 1, celebrating the Class of 2017’s progress toward new academic and professional pathways.

“Our graduates have shown a tremendous commitment to learning that will serve them well in their future endeavors,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said. “We wish the Class of 2017 the best of luck as they take on life’s challenges and continue to seek new educational prospects.”

Gabrielino High School

Gabrielino High School’s 458 seniors culminated their high school experience with a commencement ceremony on May 31 at Santa Anita Park.

Valedictorian Dylan Ngo, a league champion swimmer who was named an AP Scholar with Distinction and National Merit Commended Scholar, will study neuroscience and computer science at Brown University. Salutatorian Andy Liao, a Red Cross club and computer science club member, will study math or science at UCLA.

Graduate Maya Kusunoki-Martin reflected on Gabrielino’s 2017 motto, “Creating Opportunities,” as she addressed her peers, urging them not to shy away from academic challenges.

“I used to think school was about being smart, about knowing the answers … but at Gab, I realized it’s really about asking questions, and they are everywhere,” Kusunoki-Martin said. “Curiosity is truly the foundation of Gabrielino. The most exciting thing isn’t how much we’ve learned, it’s how much we have yet to discover.”

Nearly 94 percent of Gabrielino’s graduates will pursue post-secondary education at institutions that include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Grinnell College, Stanford University, Pomona College and UC Berkeley.

Del Mar Continuation High School

Del Mar High School honored 30 graduates who overcame personal and academic challenges during an emotionally charged commencement and senior awards ceremony on June 1 at Gabrielino High School.

Nine graduates took to the Gary E. Goodson Theatre stage and thanked their family, friends and teachers, echoing the school’s motto of “Where second chances happen.”

“My teachers pushed me on my good days and even harder on my bad ones,” Del Mar graduate Christina Calderon said. “Thank you for giving me the chance to show you how many times I’ll get back up again. Thank you for letting me be me.”

Thirteen graduates were also awarded scholarships worth a combined $5,000 from community organizations, including the Kiwanis Club of San Gabriel, West San Gabriel Valley Association of Realtors, Sunny Slope Water District and San Gabriel Special Needs Committee.

All of Del Mar’s 30 graduates have taken steps to pursue post-secondary education.


060717_SANGAB_GRAD1: Gabrielino High School held its commencement ceremony on May 31, honoring 458 graduates eager to embark on the path toward college and careers.

060717_SANGAB_GRAD2: Thirty Del Mar High School students flipped their tassels and celebrated their successful pursuit of a diploma during an emotional graduation ceremony on June 1.