News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

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Los Al announces 11 valedictorians from the class of 2024

These stellar students were honored at Valedictorian Commitment Day on Tuesday
The valedictorians gave brief speeches in the gym at Valedictorian Signing Day.
Mrs. Franzen
The valedictorians gave brief speeches in the gym at Valedictorian Signing Day.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — The class of 2024’s valedictorians were announced at Senior Awards Night last Thursday, May 23. Valedictorian is the highest academic honor given by Los Alamitos High School to 10-12 seniors each year, all of whom carry GPAs over 4.5. On Tuesday, May 28, this year’s 11 valedictorians were celebrated with Valedictorian Commitment Day in the gym and a luncheon with their families in the College and Career Center. 

“I was super surprised and happy to have this opportunity,” said class of 2024 valedictorian Jessica Leung. 

“It’s an honor,” added valedictorian Katie Chen.

The following Los Al seniors were named valedictorian:

  1.  Juan Carrion (Duke University)
  2. Katie Chen (UCLA)
  3. Matthew Cheng (UC Berkeley)
  4. Arjun Ghosh (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  5. Camden Keller (Cornell University)
  6. Leann Lee (UCLA)
  7. Jessica Leung (Haverford College)
  8. Nancy Park (John Hopkins University)
  9. Jordan Shen (UC Berkeley)
  10. Anton Vu (UC San Diego)
  11. Daniel Wu (UC Irvine)

“Looking at their transcripts, I wonder when they had time to sleep,” Principal Kraus said. In order to achieve such high GPAs, the majority of the valedictorians’ high school coursework has been weighted Honors or AP classes, meaning countless hours of homework and studying. Some students even strategize by choosing these rigorous courses to give themselves the best chance of achieving valedictorian. 

Like previous years, the valedictorians of 2024 are heavily involved in academic programs and extracurriculars at Los Al. In the fall, they are attending some of the top colleges in the country, and most are pursuing careers in the STEM field. According to Principal Kraus, Los Al started Valedictorian Commitment Day in 2023 because the science department wanted to honor these academic achievers. 

The Commitment Day celebration is a great way to honor students who have dedicated their high school years to academic excellence.”

— Mrs. Davenport, Los Al counselor

On Tuesday, one segment of the end-of-the-year virtual assembly featured the valedictorians sharing where they are attending college and expressing their gratitude for the people who helped them get there. After the video, ASB surprised the students with balloons and posters. 

ASB surprises valedictorians Camden Keller, Katie Chen, Jordan Shen, and Leann Lee in their AP Physics C class. (@losalofficial on Instagram)

“They work so hard and deserve to be recognized for their dedication to academics,” said ASB president Ryan Ramirez.

During the commitment event at lunch, the gym was decked out with a celebratory red Los Al backdrop and tables for the honorees. Los Alamitos Unified School District representatives filled the bleachers, along with Los Al staff members and family and friends of the valedictorians.

“The valedictorians are impressive,” said Los Al senior Luke Tannourji. “I’m glad all of their hard work paid off and they are getting recognition for it.”

Principal Kraus thanked everyone for their attendance and support of the valedictorians and commended the students for their academic accomplishments. Each valedictorian also announced their college and gave a brief thank you speech. 

Keller passes the microphone to Arjun Ghosh at the Valedictorian Signing Day table. (Mrs. Franzen)

“I want to thank my friends for always showing up for me,” Camden Keller said.

Following the event, the valedictorians and their families enjoyed a special luncheon together in the College and Career Center. 

“Thank you to my teachers and family for all of their support,” said valedictorian Juan Carrion.

After four years of unwavering commitment to academic excellence, the valedictorians have one last day of high school. Seniors can look forward to many senior activities with their friends before the school year comes to a close: baccalaureate this Friday, the senior car parade on Saturday, visiting their elementary schools on Monday, and, finally, graduation on Tuesday and Disneyland Grad Nite on Wednesday.

These hard-working students undoubtedly deserve to enjoy their last week of high school and have a relaxing summer vacation before heading to college. Before leaving Los Al, the valedictorians reflect on their high school journeys and offer advice for underclassmen.

“Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it,” Leung advised. “Teachers and other students are always there to help out when needed.”

“Try not to stress over the right decision; try to make every decision right,” Chen said. “Approach learning without fear.”

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About the Contributor
Bella Kim
Bella Kim, Editor-in-Chief | Co-anchor
Bella Kim is a junior at Los Alamitos High School. This is her second year with the Griffin Gazette. Bella has won two Best of SNO awards, for her articles "A Los Al senior’s podcast: ‘The Sy-STEM’" and "Los Al sophomore to compete in Olympic Trials for sailing." Over the summer, she was part of the first cohort of JCal, the Asian American Journalists Association and CalMatters' journalism program for California high school students. Last August, Bella finished her five-month internship with Spotlight Schools. Currently, she is The Youth Center's marketing intern, a contributor to L.A. Times High School Insider, and the first member of the South Bay Youth Journalism program. This summer, she will represent California at the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference in Washington D.C. Bella has a passion for ballet and has been dancing for over ten years. She dances at Los Alamitos Ballet School and performed in their "Sugarplum's Realm" production last December. When she’s not in the studio, Bella enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, writing poetry, and going to the beach. She also likes musicals, roller coasters, and collecting bookstore tote bags. On campus, Bella is co-president of the Literature Appreciation Club. As editor-in-chief, she is excited to lead the Gazette in its second year of publication and co-anchor the first year of Griffin Gazette Live broadcast news. You can contact Bella at [email protected].
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    Katie ArnoultMay 31, 2024 at 9:35 am

    I love this article! It is well-written and the use of the photos is great!