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Two graduation caps
More than 700 Alameda Unified students graduated earlier this month in ceremonies marked by whoops of joy, tears, music, jokes, awards, flowers, balloons, and heartfelt advice from adult and student speakers alike.  
Alameda High School graduated 423 students; Encinal High School graduated 199 students; ASTI graduated 29 students; Island High School graduated 37 students; and the Alameda Adult School graduated 20 students. Because ASTI is an Early College, two-thirds of this year’s graduates had already earned their AA degrees from the Peralta Community Colleges by the time they received their ASTI diplomas.
Due to the pandemic, this class of students attended their first semester of classes remotely, moved to hybrid attendance, and emerged with abilities to persevere and connect through hard times. “In my opinion, the magic ingredient each of you possesses is grit,” teacher Amy Haines said in her comments at the Island High School graduation.
The graduates go on now to:
  • Community colleges (including Alameda, Berkeley City, Chabot, Diablo Valley, Los Medanos, Merritt, DeAnza, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, and Long Beach)
  • California State Universities (including CalPoly San Luis Obispo, Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Monterey Bay, San Francisco, Sonoma, San Marcos, San Bernadino, and Dominguez Hills)
  • University of California campuses (including Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, Merced, Santa Barbara, Riverside, and Santa Cruz)
  • Public universities in other states, such as University of Vermont, University of Pennsylvania, University of Florida, University of Mississippi, University of Massachusetts, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, University of Utah, Michigan State, Arizona State, University of Washington, Ohio State, University of Kentucky, Penn State, University of North Carolina, University of Maine, and University of Montana
  • Private colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University, Stanford University, Macalaster College, Boston College, Harvey Mudd College, Barnard College, Middlebury College, Claremont McKenna, Connecticut College, Kenyon College, Lewis & Clark College, Tulane University, Howard University, Emory University, Oberlin College, Rhode Island School of Design, Carlton College, Brigham Young University, Bard College, Sarah Lawrence College, MIT, Bryn Mawr, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rutgers University, Berklee School of Music, Syracuse University, Columbia, Deep Springs, Amherst College, George Washington University, Spelman College, New York University, Vassar, and Barnard College.
A half dozen students have chosen to attend colleges in other countries. Those include: University of Limerick, Concordia University (Montreal), NYU Shanghai, University College London, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Trinity College (Dublin), Sciences Po Le Havre (France), and University of Puerto Rico, Durham University (England), and  Central European University (Austria).
Several students have also enrolled in the armed forces and will be attending the US Air Force Academy (in Colorado) and the US Coast Guard Academy (in Connecticut).
More than two dozen students received scholarships and awards from local community members and organizations, as follows:
  • Lou Allen Scholarship ($500.00):  Dolores (Lola) Whalen (Encinal)
  • Susan Scott Scholarship ($1,000.00): Jada Solis (Encinal)
  • Florinda Bartalini Scholarship ($1,000.00): Siyena Hines (AHS)
  • Paul Hardy Parker Scholarship ($5,000.00): Hanna Norrbin (Encinal)
  • Paul Hardy Parker Scholarship ($5,000.00): Layla Robinson (AHS)
  • Marlene and Steve Kofman Scholarship ($3,000.00): Olivia Iskander (AHS)
  • Abraham and Sarah Kofman Scholarship ($500.00): Izellah Thach (Encinal)
  • Abraham and Sarah Kofman Scholarship ($500.00): Hoang Bao Chau Nguyen (AHS)
  • Cox/Hollywood Scholarship ($500.00): Jiajie Luo (AHS)
  • Steven Sizer Scholarship ($1,000.00): Mikaela Fitz (AHS)
  • Sally Gallagher Scholarship ($1,500.00): Muzhgan Khanzada (AHS)
  • Beatrice B. Barrett Scholarship ($1,000.00): Siyena Hines (AHS)
  • Faculty Choice Award ($200.00): Joshua Roman Salvador (IHS)
  • Kathy Duncan Memorial Art Award ($200.00): Alexa Lorraine Navidad (IHS)
  • Larry Church Award ($200.00):Isabella (Bella) Cristales David (IHS)
  • Rey Cruz Award ($200.00): Kevin Cole (IHS)
  • Ted Anderson Award ($200.00): Tasahni D. Rochell (IHS)
  • Alameda Chamber Foundation Scholarships: ($1000): Ziqing Zhen (ASTI); Caitlin Tran, Allen Liao, Mateo Delgado, Kathy Le, Sean Lee Phu (Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School); Siyena Hines (Alameda High School)
Eric Lowy, who teaches Spanish at Alameda High (and is chair of the World Languages Department) received the $1000 Irene Wyman MacDonald Award for Teaching Excellence.
We are grateful to the many organizations and community members who support our students as they leave our district for this next stage of their life journeys, and we can’t wait to hear what our graduates go on to do!