There were lots of cheers, good wishes, and even plenty of forbidden air horns from the thousands of family members and friends gathered at Stadium by the Sea to cheer on Palisades Charter High School Class of 2012.
Over 700 students received diplomas at the Wednesday night ceremony, which featured four speeches by students and a medley by the school chorus.
The ceremony began with the processional to the traditional Pomp and Circumstance, by Edward Elgar, played by the school's orchestra and concert band, a group that contained several members in the blue cap and gown of the graduates.
The school's 50th anniversary and its diversity were celebrated, first with a welcoming ceremony in 12 different languages, and in later speeches.
First Valedictorian Heejae Yang compared graduation to the aerial photograph of the class that was taken last October.
"Like that pilot who took our picture, we ourselves are taking a journey upwards," she said.
Gabriel Kaufman, the second Valedictorian, admonished his classmates to not be so focused on getting to the next step in their lives that they miss the present moment.
"Take some time to find what would make you happy in the present," he said in his remarks. "Never give up that sense of wonder."
Student speaker Zachary Hotis, who started at the school last September after moving from New York, talked about his first day - which was also his birthday - and the embarrassing moment when a teacher asked his new classmates to say something nice about him, and no one could, until one girl finally noted that being from New York was pretty cool.
"That's when I knew the Pali Tradition is about compassion," Hortis said, finishing with a shout out to the girl - Olivia Schwartzman.
Finally, student speaker Ethan Garber noted that Pali's student body comes from 100 different zipcodes in Los Angeles County and that the class of 2012 was the largest in the school's history.
"We are one student body," he said, before breaking into the traditional school cheer: "Who's house?"
"P-House!" the students yelled back.
With that the class of 2012 was formally presented by Principal Dr. Pamela Magee and received their diplomas.