The News Website for Glendale High School


Breaking News
  • May 31The Black Team defeats the Pink Team, 41-7, in the 2024 Powderpuff Football Game!
  • May 24Senior Lilit Arakelyan wins the 2024 Pat Navalonic Memorial Award! Lilit will be attending UCLA in the fall!
  • May 1Senior Alexis Cabral wins the 2024 Lancaster Prize, for her article "A Day Without a Phone"!
  • November 18Girls varsity volleyball team defeats Marin Academy, 3-1, to win CIF Division IV State Championship!
  • November 2Girls varsity volleyball beats Moorpark, 3-0, to claim CIF SS Division 6 Championship!
  • September 13Dr. Lynette Ohanian named GHS Principal! Her previous AP position will be filled by Ms. Jessica De La O!
The News Website for Glendale High School


The News Website for Glendale High School


Introducing Your 2024 Graduation Speech Contest Winner

Here are the winner and finalists for our second annual competition
Your 2024 Graduation Speech Contest winner, Isabella Raigoza

For the second time in the history of Glendale High School, we will not be recognizing a valedictorian or salutatorian of the senior class. Instead, our school will recognize students who fall under three designations, based on their weighted grade point average: cum laude (a GPA of 3.5 to 3.999), magna cum laude (a GPA of 4.0 to 4.199), and summa cum laude (a GPA of 4.2 or above).

As our valedictorian and salutatorian would each traditionally give a speech during the graduation ceremony, this has allowed for a new opportunity for the senior class. Therefore, GHS held its second ever Graduation Speech Contest, to decide on a student speaker for the upcoming ceremony for the Class of 2024.

Three seniors submitted a speech for consideration, and each speech writer was given the opportunity to deliver their speech as an audition. After much deliberation, the panel members chose Isabella Raigoza to serve as the speaker for the Class of 2024, and she will deliver her speech during the graduation ceremony on the evening of June 5th. We will publish this winning speech at a later date.

Our two other speech contest finalists are Amelia Knur and Freddie Rios Barrientos. The speeches submitted by these two finalists are presented below. We want to offer our congratulations to all of three these exceptional students, and we thank them for participating in this process.

2024 Graduation Speech Contest finalist, Amelia Knur

“Four Years to Remember” by Amelia Knur

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed faculty, proud family members, and most importantly, the graduating class of 2024:

We have officially managed to ChatGPT, Sparknote, and Quizlet our way through these past four years of high school. We made it.

In a way, we experienced the “first day of high school” twice. The first time, we sat in Zoom calls with new teachers, new students, and new expectations. I was forced to wake up every morning to the sound of my brother blaring his saxophone for his virtual band class.

We experienced the first day of high school again when we were finally allowed to come back to campus in person. I was scared of being in a new environment with so many people, but I came to campus, I found my group of friends, and I made sure to get involved and participate in all the clubs and sports I enjoyed.

The most memorable moment I’ve had would be the day I was in the ASB room with all my friends and we were eating food that I had made. As I was sitting there distributing the food, watching my friends gather around to eat and talk together, I realized, that even though I’m no Kim Kardashian, Albert Einstein, or Mark Zuckerberg, I’m still exactly who I want to be.

I’ve been surrounded by such amazing people at this school, and I’ve had the opportunity to build strong friendships with many of you. No matter if you are an athletic person, a musically inclined individual, a car enthusiast, or a bookworm, we had opportunities to find our people.

No matter how different we are, we are similar in that we all took our own paths to find our friend groups and create our own high school experience. We have passed classes, failed important tests, gone through breakups, and found favorite teachers. Together, we have made a high school experience that we will remember for a long time to come.

If these years have taught us anything, it is this: No matter how many likes you have on TikTok, no matter if your boyfriend or girlfriend took an hour too long to reply to your text, life will go on. We have skills today that our 8th-grade selves could only dream of. We are resilient, we are resourceful, and above all, we are confident.

To the class of 2024, I say this: as we step out into the world, let us embrace the opportunities that lie ahead with open hearts and open minds. Let us dare to dream bigger than just becoming viral on TikTok. Let us dare to chase our passions, and to make our mark on the world.

The journey ahead may be challenging, but I have no doubt that each and every one of us is destined for greatness. Congratulations, graduates. The world is ours for the taking.

2024 Graduation Speech Contest finalist, Freddie Rios Barrientos

“Perla Barrientos” by Freddie Rios Barrientos

September 28th, 1988. A girl named Perla Yenizer Barrientos was born. She was raised by two parents, several loving siblings, and lived her whole life in Glendale, California. She attended Horace Mann Elementary, then Roosevelt Middle School, and then Glendale High School. She had graduated and been promoted from all, but one.

In her junior year of high school, she had gotten pregnant. Teenage pregnancy is often associated with huge, life-altering mistakes. When a teenager is faced with the hardship of teenage pregnancy, they are often told that their lives are ruined. They are told that now they can’t finish high school, go to college, or pursue their careers.

All of this was told to my mom when she was pregnant with me at the mere age of 17, around the same age that most of us are right now. Due to having been pregnant at 17, she indeed was not able to graduate from high school, and she was constantly told that she had made a huge mistake and she could never go back from it.

With that in mind, she never considered me a mistake, but quite the opposite. I was her biggest blessing, and she is mine. Since the very start it has always been my mother and I. It was Perla and Freddie versus the harsh, cold world.

Due to not finishing high school, and being a young teenage mom, my mother felt lost in this world. She felt like any other Mexican statistic. She didn’t know what her calling was, or what she was going to do. It was hard for her to do anything, especially without a diploma and now having to carry around a newborn with her.

But this never stopped my mom. She somehow found a way to get things done, and that’s how it’s always been. Some of my earliest childhood memories start with accompanying her at work, sitting in the back at a table getting my schoolwork done. Or whenever I couldn’t accompany her, having to stay home alone and take care of myself. Although this sounds harsh, it is quite common in Hispanic households, for children to take care of themselves or each other.

Regardless of the situation and circumstances, my mother always did everything in her power to strive for a better life for us. She worked tirelessly at several jobs at a time, to ensure a roof over our heads, clothes on our bodies, and food on our table.

I have always been a mature thinker, and always saw things growing up for what they actually were, and not just something that little kids would normally shrug off and not pay attention to. I noticed whenever my mom was extremely tired and put on that brave face to seem strong, or whenever she was still hungry but wanted me to eat, or at times whenever I wanted something that we couldn’t afford at the time.

I am forever indebted to my mother for all of her hard work and sacrifice. I am grateful that God not only partnered me up with a great mother, but the greatest best friend. My mother is my biggest inspiration, and my greatest influence. Her story is what strives me to be successful.

Because of my mom’s hard work and sacrifice I was able to become the man I am today: a hard-working, well-rounded, and successful young man. I have spent the last 4 years at GHS as a straight-A student in several AP classes, a varsity football captain, and I will now spend the next 4 years attending one of the top universities in the world, Yale University.

Although these are my accomplishments, they would have never been done without Perla being my mother. Her being who she is has been the most significant influence and motivation I needed to become who I am today.

Standing here now, the last thing I would like to say is, thank you for everything, Mom. I told you this one was for you. I love you.

About the Contributor
Jon Livingston
Jon Livingston, Advisor
Mr. Livingston is the Explosion advisor at Glendale High School. He is also the ASB advisor and the advisor for Stylus, the GHS yearbook. He is currently in his 24th year of teaching, and he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, watching movies, cheering on the UCLA football team and playing disc golf (poorly).
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