It wasn’t in the playbook of Half Moon Bay High School valedictorian Mitchell Martin to deliver an easy send-off to his fellow graduates on Thursday night.
“We’re all screwed,” the top classmate began. He listed out dim job prospects, rising education costs and a host of other worldwide problems that his generation would inherit. “We didn’t ask for these problems, but they’re ours now.”
The speech started on a dark mood, but Mitchell thought his class could rise to the challenge. High school would pale in comparison to what the real world would throw at them, but Half Moon Bay’s new crop of graduates were ready and willing to face it.
Diplomas in hand and caps in the air, the 2012 class of Half Moon Bay High became full-fledged adults on Thursday night, entering a new age of independence and responsibility.
The mood was a resounding celebration capturing the hopes and energy of the Coastside’s best and brightest. Classmates traded hugs along with their stories about which universities they will be attending and what careers they will pursue.
“Ten years from now I’ll be at the University of San Francisco learning to be a doctor. I’ll also be a professional musician and have my teaching credential,” said graduate Mathew Monteverde, not joking. “Yeah, I want to do a lot.”
The event marked a new era not only for the graduating class, but also many of their overseers. Principal Mary Streshly and Superintendent Rob Gaskill both reminded the class of 2012 that they also would be leaving the Coastside schools.
“I feel like I’ve grown with you over these four years. I should be a senior also,” Streshly said. “The chapter about Half Moon Bay High ends for us, but the story for all of you will continue to be told.”