Saint Francis High School celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2018 at the commencement ceremony on May 26. By all measures, these seniors were incredibly successful. There were:
- 254 graduating with honors
- 83 who received National Merit recognition; of those 29 were finalists
- 145 National Honor Society NHS members
- 76 California Scholarship Federation CSF members
- 291 seniors who attended the Senior Retreat
- Graduates completed 36,823 hours of community service
- They are attending 132 different college
- They received 460 college scholarships/awards
Principal Patricia Tennant commended the graduates, noting that the love and support they gave each other while at Saint Francis was a testimony to their greatest accomplishment: becoming Holy Cross men and women.
Several seniors received recognition for their accomplishments during their four years. As the students with the highest grades, Mythri Ambatipudi and Sonya Lee were named class valedictorians. Mythri is an accomplished researcher and scientist who worked at the Canary Cancer Research Center at Stanford University on a computer-aided method of accelerating drug discovery for cancer detection research. At school, she served as a board member of the school newspaper and the Research Club.
Sonya played cello with the school chamber string ensemble for four years, performing at liturgies, assemblies, showcases and Christmas at our House student productions. She was also an active member of the National Honor Society and SF Thrive.
The Blessed Basil Moreau Man and Women of the Year recipients are chosen by their peers for representing the commitment, leadership and spirit of the class of 2018. Seniors selected Benjamin Arra, a WCAL champion wrestler and student body officer, as Man of the Year. The Woman of the Year honor was given to Maya Shydlowski-Besmer, a scholar-athlete who ran cross country and served on student council and Rally Board.
Arrian Ebrahimi received the Robert J. Urban Memorial Award, given to a student who loves learning, has been an active school leader and believes in the power of citizenship. Arrian worked on congressional campaigns and interned at legislators’ offices. He put his ideas into action through his leadership with many campus clubs, including Safe Spaces, the International Club, Stand Up Speak Up and the Teen Awareness Program.
The President’s Award recognized the student who best reflects the spiritual, intellectual and social goals of the school’s mission. This year, the honor went to Elizabeth Stanton. Driven by social justice and political issues, she collaborated with other students to organize a campus event to awake her peers to the movement against gun violence in schools. On the day of the walkout, she stood in front of her classmates appealing for peace and spoke for those whose voices could no longer be heard.