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Archbishop Mitty Celebrates Class of 2017

Archbishop Mitty award recipients, from left, Brian Chan, Paulina Thurmann, Lucas Kernan, Fiona Pestana and Raymond So gather at graduation.

Archbishop Mitty High School’s 50th commencement exercises were held last week on May 27. The school celebrated the many achievements of the Class of 2017 in a special ceremony that welcomed about 3,500 family members and friends to Father Jack Russi Field. During the event, AMHS recognized all 420 graduates including five who were recipients of special awards.

Senior Raymond So was named the valedictorian, an honor that recognizes a single graduate each year as the top academic student in the graduating class. Raymond’s achievements in the classroom were outstanding as he maintained an impressive 4.6 cumulative GPA, scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT, and – to date – has earned perfect scores on at least 10 different AP tests. He is also one of the finest violinists the school has ever produced. Raymond is committed to helping others and has organized benefit concerts that raised $10,000 for social causes. He has also arranged volunteer trips to Costa Rica, Korea, and China to teach music. Raymond will attend Harvard University in the fall.

Senior Brian Chan was named salutatorian, an honor that recognizes a graduate each year as an outstanding academic student with great facility in both written and oral expression. As a high school student, Brian maintained a 4.53 cumulative GPA and scored perfect scores on eight AP tests. In addition to that, he was a two-sport athlete and served as the president of the student body. Last summer, he worked as a research intern at Stanford University’s Shriram Center for Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering. He also volunteers regularly at Kaiser Hospital and Sacred Heart Community Services. Brian will attend Stanford University in the fall.

Senior Paulina Thurmann was named the recipient of the Romero Award, which recognizes a graduating senior who shows a deep commitment to social justice and the school’s Campus Ministry program. The award is named after Archbishop Oscar Romero, who fought and died for the cause of social justice. Over the past four years, Paulina maintained a 4.1 GPA, served as a dynamic and service-orientated captain for the women’s swim team, participated in an immersion trip, and was a writer for the school’s newspaper. Paulina will be part of the honors program at Gonzaga University in the fall.

• Male Regents’ Award
The male recipient of the Regents’ Award was Lucas Kernan. The Regents’ awards recognize one young man and one young woman for outstanding overall achievement inside and outside of the classroom. Lucas maintained a 4.33 GPA. He served as the co-president of the Speech and Debate Team and participated in the ECJ: Native America immersion program. He has also appeared in almost every one of the school’s main performing arts shows and was a member of the school’s sketch comedy team. He will attend New York University in the fall.

• Female Regents’ Award
The female recipient of the Regents’ Award was Fiona Pestana. As an AMHS student, she maintained a 4.25 GPA while engaging in student government and taking the school’s stage as an accomplished singer, dancer, and actress. Over the years, she has embraced the roles of class president, class representative, and media coordinator for student government. She also embraced servant leadership and has been honored for completing more than 125 years of Christian service in a single school year. Fiona also participated in an immersion trip to San Francisco’s Tenderloin District and participated in ECJ: South Africa. She has been a member of the Speech and Debate Team. Fiona will attend the University of Southern California in the fall.