Glendale: Congratulations from near and far for grads

Glendale News Press
June 17 2004

Congratulations from near and far for grads

Hoover High’s class of 2004 graduates during ceremony on school’s
football field, drawing well-wishes from around the world.

By Gary Moskowitz, News-Press

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — The night before her graduation from Hoover High
School, Chanel Leyva got a long distance call from her boyfriend, who
is stationed with the Marines in Iraq.

Her boyfriend, Joe Martinez, called at 4:30 a.m. in Iraq to
congratulate her and apologize for not being there Wednesday at
Hoover’s 2004 graduation ceremony.

Leyva was among 551 seniors to wear a purple or white cap and gown
and graduate from Hoover this year, officials said.

“My boyfriend is one of the main people I wanted to be here, but he
called from Iraq to say he misses me and that he’s proud of me,”
Leyva said. “Graduating from high school is exciting. There were
struggles here and there, but you have to put yourself into it to get
it done.”

At the ceremony, school officials announced that Glenn Kim was this
year’s valedictorian. Alina Hunanyan, Karineh Parsanian and Anna
Schnitger were the school’s salutatorians.

During her graduation speech, Annis Khani encouraged students to
remember what they learned from their time at Hoover.

“Remain true to who you are,” Annis said. “Don’t measure your worth
by what you have, but by what you have given to others.”

Charisse Brown-Aintablian watched eagerly from the sideline of the
school’s football field to see her son, Samuel Aintablian, receive
his high school diploma.

“This is a very, very proud moment for us,” Brown-Aintablian said.
“My son is from an interracial marriage, Armenian and black, and
that’s a big thing to handle. And I think with so many kids not
graduating at all, all of these kids here graduating are setting a
good example for all the younger kids in the audience. It’s a big
accomplishment to get through high school.”

Jee Kim will head East this fall to attend New York University. He
plans to study aerospace engineering.

“It feels like we are all adults today,” said Kim, 18. “After high
school, it’s like the real world, and nobody’s there to watch over
you anymore. I’ll miss my friends the most.”