Members of Clark Magnet High School's graduating class will have many memories of their senior year, including one word that students think best describes them: "boost."
During Clark's graduation ceremony on Tuesday, student Ramon Tumbucon gave a speech and defined a boost as hyping up a crowd at an assembly, a funny joke shared between classmates or a faculty member who pushed students to their academic potential.
"There's a reason why this word is thrown around our campus, it's because Clark is brimming with these types of people," Tumbucon said. "Students are boosts and so are the teachers … We all push each other forward."
More than 250 students made up Clark's class of 2014, a comparatively small graduating class that several students said made their high-school experience special.
"Everybody basically knows each other here," said Devin Younanian, who's heading to Cal Poly Pomona to study civil engineering. "We all have a very close relationship … It's a very special bond that we have here."
Natalie Keshishian, who's heading to Glendale Community College and hopes to eventually study biology or neuroscience at the University of Southern California, said she's ready to say goodbye to high school, but knows leaving familiar faces behind will be a challenge.
"I know almost every senior, I think," she said. "I'm going to miss everybody, I'm going to have to start over with friends and everything, cause we're all going to different colleges."
For the first time in Clark's history, there was a three-way tie for valedictorian. Alan Tirdad Begian, Sheina Sakhrani and Tatevik Stepanyan earned top academic honors for each achieving a 4.48 grade-point average, while Matej Vilem Zampach was named salutatorian for earning a 4.36 grade-point average.
During his remarks, Principal Doug Dall reflected on the loss of Barbara Melone, the senior administrative secretary who passed away at the beginning of the school year after a long battle with cancer.
Dall remembered that day and getting a call from Melone's husband who said, "We lost our Barbara."
"She was, in fact, our Barbara, whenever you needed a question answered, she was your Barbara," he said.
Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.