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‘Never forget the power you have’

June 06, 2009|By Zain Shauk

Burbank High School’s 100th senior class went out in style Friday during a graduation ceremony that featured rousing musical performances at the Starlight Bowl.

The school’s orchestra and award-winning choir performed sets that stirred excitement among graduates, including one that combined the sounds of “Somethin’s Comin’” from West Side Story and rapper Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

The musical exhibition showcased just part of the talent that Burbank High’s centennial class brought to the school, said Tessa Register, the senior speaker.

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“As a class, we are so much more than just the 100th group of kids to walk across this stage,” she said.

The school’s sports teams, clubs and student activities, including the first-ever class to host a prom on a yacht, put the group in a category of its own, she said.

Technology and diversity had also made the group’s high school experience unique, transforming it from what other generations might have gone through, students said, citing Burbank High’s array of cultural groups and the class’ affinity for text messaging and YouTube.

“We know streaming videos of ‘Charlie the Unicorn’ is as educational as it is entertaining,” said Nicole Battaglia, one of the school’s two valedictorians, drawing applause from the audience.

Students said they were excited to move on from high school, but reflected on simple parts of their routines that they would miss.

While some were sad to leave the school, others said they were still taking in the weight of the day.

“It hasn’t hit me yet,” said Ani Zarian.

Zarian talked of her goal of becoming a forensic scientist, one that grew out of a crime lab exercise organized by her science teacher, Rebecca Cooper.

She said she will remember Burbank High for giving her inspiration.

Principal Bruce Osgood, reflecting on the thousands of students who had graduated from the school during its 100 years, discussed the commitment to public service that has been displayed by former students.

More than 90 graduates had gone on to serve in the armed forces, he said, and hundreds had volunteered for service groups and organizations and even joined the Peace Corps.

Now the weight of contributing to society would fall to the latest group of graduates, he said.

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