La Cueva High School senior Mario Sumali earned his status as Class of 2022 valedictorian as evidenced by his 5.3 grade point average.
Wednesday afternoon, he delivered a speech before he and his classmates were handed their diplomas at the graduation ceremony at Tingley Coliseum.
Here is a transcript of his speech
“Good morning honored guests, staff, students, teachers and parents of La Cueva High School.
“First of all, I think some thanks are in order.
“Thank you to my parents who’ve allowed me to live in their home free of rent for the last 17 years. I’m truly proud to call myself your son. Thank you to my sister, who has served as my biggest inspiration and role model. Thank you to the incredible teachers of La Cueva, who’ve more than anything, taught me not just coursework, but also life lessons … And also that tardy passes are a thing.
“Thank you to the wonderful friends who have supported me, through early mornings and late nights. Y’all are the best.
“Special thanks to Rahul, who helped me write this next line:
‘Shoutout to my bestest, funniest, and handsomest friend Rahul.’
“And most importantly, thank you to Andrew Sutherland, founder and creator of quizlet.com
“It’s graduation season. A time when millions of seniors — 3.7 million to be exact — are receiving tiny pieces of paper awarding them for four long years of high school. And we’re no different. In a few short minutes, we’ll all walk on this stage, grab our diplomas and likely never be affected by La Cueva again. At least that’s what it seems like on the surface.
“Among the 3.7 million seniors graduating this month, the less than 400 of us, this class has something unique. Something that we all received when we first stepped foot in La Cueva some four years ago — the title of La Cueva’s class of 2022.
“And with that title comes not just proof of graduation, but also the unique experiences we’ve all had at our time here. Which of the 3.7 million other seniors can say that they’ve gotten relationship advice from their ceramics teacher Mr. Yoshida? That they were cyber-attacked halfway through the school year? That they got a truancy notice for missing too much class in the second semester? Oh wait, that one just applies to me. Which can say that they were lucky enough to go to school with the unique, talented and incredible La Cueva Class of 2022?
“My point is, there will not be a Class of ’22, part two. The 400 of us have experienced high school in a way that no one else can ever experience. And those shared experiences, our own personal experiences, and the people that helped to craft them will stick with us for the rest of our lives.
“We are not just students, but La Cueva’s students. Not just athletes, but La Cueva’s athletes. And today, we’re not just graduates, but La Cueva graduates. And no matter who or what we choose to become — a doctor, a lawyer, a SoundCloud rapper — we are and always will be La Cueva Bears.
“Thank you La Cueva; Go Bears!”