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A Note to Samohi Graduates

June 9, 2020 7:43 PM
by Mayor Kevin McKeown

A Note to Samohi Graduates

Congratulations, Santa Monica High School Class of 2020!  Our City of Santa Monica is particularly proud of you, because you’ve made it to graduation despite obstacles previous classes never had to overcome.

At the same time we join your parents, families, and friends in expressing pride in your accomplishments, we acknowledge that these last months were not easy, and that you may feel you missed some of the rewards for your years of study and work.

Samohi has long been a haven of stability and certainty.  I worked at Samohi for 25 years, and know well the familiar rhythms of class bells, extra-curriculars, and social events.  The loss of all that to the coronavirus pandemic was unfairly difficult for you in the second half of your senior year.

On this day, most years, I’d be at the Greek Amphitheater to watch each of you get your diploma in person. We’re both missing that experience, as are your parents and families.  Yet our entire community rises up together to honor and salute the Class of 2020.

High school friendships were hard-won when you came into Samohi as a freshman class, but now as seniors you know the value of those bonds with classmates you can count on no matter what.  Having to be apart during the final weeks of your senior year, which you long anticipated spending together, has to have been a constant heartache.  The good news is that high school friendships can last a lifetime, and yours are just beginning.

Today you graduate from Samohi as the most distinguished class our community has ever seen, distinguished by a remarkable extra level of flexibility and commitment. 

You may feel you got a raw deal, but you got something more important.  You got a chance to show what you’re made of.  You got a chance to show your strength, and your resiliency. You’ve made us even prouder of you!

The predictable regularity of high school isn’t the only kind of education.  Too often, life gives the test before offering the lesson.  You have been tested by circumstances, you have shown your ability to deal with life on life’s terms, and you’ve not only passed the test but you’ve done so with flying colors of Samohi blue and gold. Congratulations, Vikings!


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