Graduations and Celebrations Mark End of School Year in Beverly Hills

The last week of the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) 2022-2023 school year brought no shortage of heartwarming moments.

All four of the schools in the district— Hawthorne Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, Beverly Vista Middle School and Beverly Hills High School—marked the achievements of their graduating classes and outstanding faculty with festive events for the BHUSD community.

On May 31, Hawthorne Elementary School held a commencement ceremony for its fifth-grade class. Parents cheered on their children; Beverly Hills Police Department officers offered the students high fives; and students applauded for their fellow graduating peers during a lively event held under a massive tent on the schoolyard of Hawthorne’s Rexford Drive campus.

Ensuring there was safety and security for the large crowd of attendees, BHPD Sergeant Jeff Newman, who heads the department’s community relations unit, was on the scene. He was joined by several BHPD officers.

Around 11:30 a.m., Hawthorne Principal Sarah Kaber welcomed the hundreds of parents in attendance. “Okay, paparazzi,” Kaber said, referring to the sea of parents photographing their children as the kids walked in lines toward bleachers at one end of the tented area.

Kaber then went on to deliver words of praise for the graduating class, which numbered approximately 120 students. The Hawthorne principal said it was particularly meaningful for her to be speaking at the ceremony because the last grade she taught before becoming an administrator was fifth grade.

Hawthorne graduating class

She addressed a crowd that included BHUSD Board President Noah Margo, Board Clerk Mary Wells and Board Members Rachelle Marcus and Judy Manouchehri.

One of the student speakers, bidding his peers a bright and successful future, expressed excitement about what was ahead—specifically beginning middle school.

“Get ready to be bulldogs!” he said, referring to the mascot for Beverly Vista Middle School.

Another student speaker declared, “Today we are all very lucky to be Hawthorne Vikings.” A helper held up a sign behind him that read, “Vikings.” When this person removed the last five letters of the word so that it spelled “Vi,” the speaker noted that it stood for six—as in, they will all soon be entering sixth grade. Judging by the enthusiastic applause from all the students seated in the three rows of bleachers, they were also looking forward to the year ahead.

Bringing a musical vibe to the affair, several students sang and performed on the ukulele.

Parents beamed with pride as their children walked the length of the stage and collected their graduation certificates.

“We’re so proud of her and all of her accomplishments,” the parents of 2023 Hawthorne graduate Audrey Sabzerou said.

“We’re so incredibly proud,” Eli Nikravesh’s mother and father told their son. “The world is yours for the taking.”

The parents of another student, Chloe, told the Courier how much it meant to them to see their daughter on the stage, undergoing the transition from elementary to middle

school. “We couldn’t be more excited for her,” her mother told the Courier. “When she accomplishes something, it feels like we’ve accomplished it too.“

The Courier’s June 9 issue will feature end of the year news from Horace Mann Elementary, Beverly Vista Middle School and Beverly Hills High School.

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