Marking the end of their high school careers, graduation for the Class of 2022 took place on Tuesday at the University of Miami. The senior class consisted of 700 students who are now officially Gables alumni but forever a part of the Cavalier family.
As the students filled the Watsco center, they took their seats, waiting for the ceremony to start at 9 a.m. Principal Ullivari commenced by proudly addressing the graduates one last time as high school students soon to be alumni, marking the beginning of the next stage in their life. The national anthem was played by violinist and graduate Jasming Senel. Afterward, Ullivari honored graduates such as Lawrence Stampino-Strain, Ana Maestre and Romulo Delgado.
Additionally, Ullivari took some time to congratulate Gables’ achievements throughout this year like Thespians and various sports, such as soccer, taking home countless awards. Ullivari welcomed to the podium an esteemed guest, School Board Member Mari Tere Rojas, who addressed the graduating class by commending them for their hard work and perseverance over the years.
This was a memorable day for the Class of 2022 as it was the first class to graduate after a full physical school year since the beginning of the pandemic. In her speech, Tere Rojas recognized how the spirited Class of 2022 had two difficult years but still managed “to rise to the occasion”, demonstrating their dedication to education. Many graduates felt the pain of COVID-19 in their high school careers, yet they found their way across the stage with diplomas in hand.
“I feel nervous but excited about my future. I’m sure the foundation I have from this school will help me as I go through my (expected) major of Civil Engineering at UF. I’d say that the main thing Gables gave me were the good memories, friends and teaching inside and outside the classroom that I hope to carry on throughout my life,” senior Bernardo Andrade said.
Following Tere Rojas, now-alum Andrea Delgado took the stage. Earlier on in the year, Delgado applied to become a student speaker in the hopes of commemorating her and many others’ years at Gables. With approval from the school administration, Delgado was presented with the opportunity to speak, and she began preparing her speech.
Pull Quote: “When I was writing my speech, I wanted to make it so everyone in our senior class could relate to it, no matter how involved someone was. I didn’t think I was going to get picked to do it because I’ve never done any public speaking, but now that I am, I want to make sure those graduating, including the family and friends in the audience, are aware of how amazing Gables is and will continue to be in years coming. What I loved most about Gables was just the energy and spirit that I felt every day I walked in. I knew every day was going to consist of the basics, but what I didn’t know is that the little things besides that, were going to make me smile and laugh endlessly,” senior Andrea Delgado said.
Delgado addressed her audience as fellow students and friends, proceeding to explain what made her Gables experience memorable. Delgado mentioned relatable moments, like losing her voice at a basketball game and eating in the pavilion, to connect with all seniors whether they were involved in every activity or simply attended Gables. Through her speech, Delgado united the Class of 2022 and gave an insight into what makes Gables what it is today.
Delgado’s speech marked the end of presentations as Ullivari was ready to present the diplomas to the Class of 2022. Student after student walked up to the podium to receive their diploma stating they were officially Gables graduates. Some wore a smile on their face while others cried; nevertheless, it was a memorable day for the graduates.
The Class of 2022 seniors are now officially Gables alumni and will go on to various universities across the nation. They will be missed but are always welcome back to the Gables community with open arms.