Burbank High School:

‘Anything you want to do? Do it’

June 07, 2008|By Alison Tully

Hilda Akopyan on Thursday night sat down to do her homework, when she came to a realization.

“I’ll never have homework for Burbank High again,” she said.

“I’m so used to everything being the same, and now I am about to embark on a big change.”

Akopyan, who plans to attend Pasadena City College in the fall, was one of 617 seniors who graduated on Friday night from Burbank High.

Parents, grandparents as well as other family members and friends gathered at the Starlight Bowl to honor the graduates.

While students anxiously waited for the start of the ceremony, parents aimed their cameras in hopes of catching a shot of their soon-to-be high school graduate.


“This is my son’s step into adulthood, and it makes me realize that he’s not a baby anymore,” said Beverly Felix, whose son Juan received his diploma.

More than 39 of the graduates finished their high school career with a grade-point average of 4.0 or above, 15 or more scored 800 on one section of the SAT, 140 worked more than 100 community service hours, 95 were Presidential Award winners and one was named a National Merit Scholar, Principal Bruce Osgood said.

Graduate Christy Timmons said she plans to return to the Burbank High campus.

“I want to go to college and major in English and minor in theater so I can come back to Burbank High,” said Timmons, who plans to attend community college and then transfer to a local university.

Osgood used his speech as an opportunity to congratulate the graduates and commemorate the anniversary of D-Day.

“One of the soldiers that fought in D-Day said, ‘You can never have enough training,’” Osgood said.

“Now, we’ve given you your training and today is your D-Day. . . . Your training will help you but your heart, or your deepest self, will get you through.”

But the night was just as much about celebration, as it was about saying difficult goodbyes.

One of the night’s senior speakers chose the words of Willy Wonka, a fictional character in the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” to remind his fellow graduates what they should set out and accomplish.

“I know what you’re thinking, what can a candy man from the 1970s tell us?” senior Alex Reyes said.

“But, he was the one that told us, ‘Anything you want to do? Do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.’”


Christopher Aba

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