American School of Valencia said farewell to the Class of 2021, which was honored with a moving and COVID-safe graduation ceremony on Friday, June 4, 2021, at the ASV Athletic Center. The largest graduating class in the school’s history, composed of 63 students, received their well-deserved High School Diplomas after completing, in most cases, their entire academic life at ASV.
As is traditional, the students earning the two highest academic results opened and closed the ceremony as Salutatorian (Ricardo Saez) and Valedictorian (Olga Ballester). Mr. Josep Vicent Frechina, the High School Principal, remarked on the exceptional character of this graduating class, whose members have achieved an outstanding academic performance where the Salutatorian and Valedictorian both earned GPAs of 4.33, which is equivalent to a perfect 10 in the Spanish educational system.
Dr. Javier Sánchez, President of the Board of Governors, also spoke to the graduates remarking on their resilience in challenging times. Mr. Michael L. Smith, Director of ASV, praised the way the graduating class were pioneers and participated in a number of ASV activities, such as the Global Exchange Programs, Model United Nations, and a host of athletic events.
The ceremony included the presentation of the academic awards to the Class of 2021 as follows:
- Carla Martinez Martinez (Humanities)
- Kristina Kolobova (Math and Science)
- Sofía Herrera (English “Utopia”)
- Henry Hopkins and Raquel López (Scholar-Athlete Award)
- Laura Illán (International Mindedness Award)
- Dominik Emmert (Director’s Award)
- Ismael Eltablawi (Ambassador’s Award)
Additionally, the aforementioned Salutatorian, Ricardo Sáez, and the Valedictorian, Olga Ballester were also recognized for their exceptional academic results and contributions to ASV.
The ceremony offered some new graduation traditions that included the presentation of Honor Roll Awards, as well as the special recognition of Mr. John Stapleton and Mrs. Rhona Stapleton who will be retiring after many years of dedicated and exceptional service to the ASV community.
On behalf of all members of the ASV community, we would like to express our best wishes to the Class of 2021 in all of the future endeavors, and we look forward to all of the exciting accomplishments that they will achieve as distinguished ASV alumni.
Prior Events Featuring the Class of 2021
Several activities on Thursday, June 3, 2021, provided a precursor of the graduation celebrations for the Class of 2021:
- Senior Breakfast: On Thursday morning, soon-to-be graduates were invited to enjoy a breakfast with their teachers in Visions Café. This event provided teachers and Grade 12 students with an opportunity to share the excitement of the upcoming graduation ceremony, as well as the detailed instructions for the ceremony. Additionally, students offered speeches and gifts to their Grade 12 teachers. This year, students had their breakfast individually, respecting safety and physical distancing measures.
- Senior Walk: a new tradition leading up to the graduation ceremony was the Senior Walk. Future graduates, wearing their caps and gowns, walked around the school campus while all classes from Grade 1 to 11 were out to greet and cheer them. You can see the Senior Walk in this video.