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Valedictorians

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 1990 | TONY MARCANO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Christina Hong, a senior at Mission Viejo High School, has a secret--not only is she the smartest student at her school, she's also the top graduate in Orange County. Try not to spread it around. "I don't like to be known as the smartest person in school," said Hong, 18, who amassed a county-high 4.94 grade-point average and will enroll at Stanford University this fall. "I don't like that label."
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June 18, 1996 | LUCILLE RENWICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Cleveland High School's college counselor gives the cue for the valedictorian during the Reseda school's graduation Thursday, Galit Sarfaty--a reserved girl with a 4.46 GPA--proudly will rise to her feet. So will TramAnh Nettie LeDuc, Bree Blumstein, Eva Friedberg, Joshua Dimon, Michelle Looren, Davinder Mann and Bruce Pao, to name a few. In fact, 27 Cleveland High seniors are being honored this year as valedictorians.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 1994 | MARK SABBATINI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was the speech no one was supposed to hear. Now tens of thousands have heard it. Brad Bjelke, 18, graduated at the top of his Saugus High School class with a grade-point average of 4.44 (he got extra points for taking honors classes). But Brad never got to deliver a valedictory speech. School officials eliminated the honor this school year because, according to the principal, "it was a tradition that we didn't think had enough positives."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 1992 | ASHLEY DUNN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Eight years after fleeing El Salvador and entering the United States as an illegal immigrant, Miguel Perez won a piece of the American dream on Thursday. "I'm really happy this day has finally arrived," the 23-year-old said to a crowd of reporters gathered at the Federal Building in Los Angeles to record his new status as a legal resident. "I'm glad that I made it and I could keep my promise to my mother."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2001 | JOE MATHEWS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Late Thursday afternoon, 17-year-old Ana Olazava, first in her class at Compton's Dominguez High School, will stand on the weathered athletic field and deliver her valedictory speech. It will be short and pleasant, betraying none of her frustrations with high school. Parents will nod and teachers will smile. Hers is the irresistible story of the inner-city valedictorian, the immigrants' daughter whose success seems to redeem the promise of tough schools in tough places like Compton.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2009 | Seema Mehta
Aurora Ponce is senior class president, boasts a near-perfect A average and is UC-bound with plans to study engineering. But according to the 18-year-old and her supporters, officials at the Accelerated School, a collection of South Los Angeles charter schools, have barred Ponce from making her valedictory speech at Saturday's graduation as punishment for participating in a student sit-in to protest increased class sizes and the elimination of college prep classes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 1998
I cannot express my disappointment strongly enough that students from Vasquez High School were not included in your list of "best and brightest" high school graduates honored as valedictorians in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys ("Valley Valedictorians," June 14). Vasquez High School is the smallest public high school in Los Angeles County. We are unique because of the size and location. Acton and Agua Dulce are rural communities. Our students travel long distances to attend Vasquez.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 1995 | PHUONG NGUYEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Jennifer Luu always thought it would be "pretty cool" to deliver a speech during high school graduation, but the 18-year-old honor student assumed it was a token of esteem reserved only for the class valedictorian. But she didn't know that Westminster High School and many other schools in Orange County had eliminated traditional addresses by valedictorians and replaced them with speeches that were chosen in student contests.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 1991 | LILY ENG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Stereotypes make Trabuco Hills High School senior Kelly Perez bristle. With blond hair and bright green eyes, Kelly says people consistently label her a "dumb blonde." Perez, 17, is anything but that. With a grade-point average 4.73, a letter in varsity soccer and a part-time job at an advertising agency, she doesn't have to prove that she's got an ample brain beneath her blond tresses. "It's nice to surprise people who judge others by stereotypes," Perez said. "I work hard in everything I do.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 25, 1995 | ALICIA DI RADO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
She's preparing to be a lawyer and her grades have landed her on the dean's list at Cal State Fullerton. She works 20 hours a week and spends time volunteering with youths near her South-Central Los Angeles home. And while she studies for the six courses she is taking, she watches her 2-year-old son, Arthur, whom she supports only with the help of her mother.
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