Cloaked in royal blue robes, more than 650 seniors walked—some stepping tentatively in stilettos, others gliding barefoot, a few skipping confidently in Converse—across the stage Thursday at the Memorial Greek Theatre to accept their diplomas.
To the strains of the traditional Pomp and Circumstance march, the students gracefully navigated the steep, outdoor amphitheater steps to reach their seats on stage. Speakers thanked the faculty and their families, as well as the coaches who made them run up and down the theater's steps during the past four years.
"Because of you we didn't fall today," said Senior Class President Spencer Goodman.
In her address, Principal Laurel Fretz said when administrators reference the class of 2012, they use descriptions like "silly," "hardworking" and "sense of community." She told the students they are lucky to have one another.
"But the number one thing to remember is to keep Viking pride in your hearts forever," she told them.
In part, the ceremony was a showcase of talent. Trios of student musicians performed Jack Johnson's Better Together and the Beatles' In My Life. A surprise rap, set to Billy Preston's Nothing From Nothing, especially roused the crowd, which was several thousand strong.
As the school's 158th graduation ceremony concluded, the newly-minted alumni tossed long-stemmed white carnations into the air and exuberantly belted out their school song, the Samohi Hymn of Praise.