In this week's Print Edition

Congratulations, SPHS Class of 2018

Graduation Speeches Stress Courage, Determination, Move Forward
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They tossed their caps into the air and it was over. South Pasadena High School’s Class of 2018 officially graduated Tuesday with an evening ceremony at Ray Solari Stadium. Family members filled the bleachers to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of another proud class of Tigers. Photo by Joseph Ruiz

**Pick-up a copy of the June 8, 2018 print edition of the South Pasadena Review for more stories and pictures like this from the 2018 SPHS graduation. Lot’s more to see and read.**

As was expected, the student speeches during the South Pasadena High School’s graduation ceremony Tuesday evening expressed the theme of looking forward without fear, favor or prejudice.

Senior Class President Young Song kicked off the ceremony by encouraging his classmates, the 372 students set to graduate, to go forward with courage and determination.

Young Song, 2018 Senior Class President

“Remember, don’t have regrets, pursue your passions,” Song told the assembled crowd of more than 2,000 family, friends and faculty. “Don’t let others cloud your judgement. We are in an era where we are not just perceived as high school students but rather young intelligent adults who have been voted to make an influence in public policy. Tigers, I ask of you today to clear all of your thoughts and enjoy the rest of the evening.”

Song then introduced Valedictorian Kate Ba, who proceeded to address the gathered assembly with her speech, “Embrace Adventure.”

“To my fellow classmates, congratulations. We made it,” Ba said. “Right here, right now, we stand on the verge of graduating and finally crossing over the threshold into the mystical real world.” Ba reminded her classmates to try and not lose their childlike enthusiasm for the world as they move forward and grow older.

“We all lived life on the edge by running around doing reckless things,” Ba said. “We all laughed easily. Showering the world with our excitement. What happened? What causes us to lose a bit of that spark? That enthusiasm. … We started caring too much about how the world saw us. Letting fear and anxiety weigh on our hearts.”

Kate Ba, 2018 Valedictorian

Ba challenged her classmates not to lose that natural excitement but to “stay true to our compass and what matters most.”

“Stop living for each weekend,” Ba said. “Because you know what, those are literally only 20 percent of your life. Start figuring out small happiness for every single day and make your Mondays not just bearable but amazing. … Live more, live better. … Be bold, be brave.”

Ba then introduced fellow classmate and valedictorian William Hoadley-Brill, who focused on bubbles and SpongeBob in his speech entitled, “Bubbles.”

Hoadley-Brill compared South Pasadena with his favorite SpongeBob episode about the oldest bubble ever blown. (See graduation story)

“In the city where the streets are paved with gold, they visit the museum where the oldest bubble that has ever been blown rests,” Hoadley-Brill told the gathered crowd. “South Pasadena reminds me much of that bubble. …Our shared experiences as a city have created an insulated environment that has allowed us to grow safely and under the careful watch of our guardians and mentors.”

Will Hoadley-Brill, 2018 Valedictorian

“Bubbles do, however, have their limits,” Hoadley-Brill continued. “They can only stretch so far before they are forced to pop. And for the class of 2018, it is time to pop our bubble. … And to the parents and family members of graduating class of 2018, remember as SpongeBob was once said, ‘every little bubble every blown must someday pop.’”

Hoadley-Brill ended his speech to loud, approving applause. In fact, all the speeches were greeted with enthusiastic applause from not only the class of 2018 but the more than 2,000 family and friends in attendance.

Steve Whitmore

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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