Graduating senior Erika Munoz welcomed the sold-out crowd to the Monterey High School's commencement ceremony Wednesday, thanking the teachers and staff at the Burbank Unified's alternative high school who made her presence on stage possible.
Without them, Munoz said she might not have graduated, let alone further her education at Glendale Community College.
"Here, teachers are close to the students, there's friendship," she said in an interview. "I was more involved with clubs and Associated Student Body because of that."
The Class of 2010 credited teachers with their academic achievements, and teachers, in turn, credited the students for pushing themselves across the finish line.
"They work harder than they ever have in their life," said science teacher Jacke Iadanza. "They really crank it out."
In one quarter, it's typical that Monterey students earn double the credits than their peers at Burroughs or Burbank high schools. Monterey High is in session almost year-round, giving students an ability to recoup credits lost to poor choices or factors beyond their control.