IHMS Graduates Follow Their Path

Clad in white caps and robes and carrying sprigs of flowers, 72 eighth graders descended the familiar garden walkway from the cafeteria to the ballfield one last time as a class for Immaculate Heart Middle School’s commencement.
This year’s ceremony took place entirely outdoors for safety reasons, but the location proved picture-perfect. The hanging banners on display, catching the day’s last rays of sunlight, provided a colorful backdrop as the graduates wound their way like a ribbon of white toward their seated families on the turf.

Middle School Student Council President Sarah Sullivan extended a warm welcome to the audience of parents, teachers and administrators. Other students offered prayers, original poems and songs. Eighth grade speaker Georgina Speer also shared her memories of Immaculate Heart and thanked the faculty, her classmates and her family for their dedication, generosity and support though the years.

Before conferring the diplomas, Middle School Principal Gina Finer acknowledged the struggles the graduates faced this past school year because of the pandemic, but she also pointed out some positives – primarily how students managed to create virtual versions of all the school’s traditional events and activities, as well as maintained friendships and created new ones. “In other words, this class somehow managed to stay together as a community,” Finer said. “It has been their joy and enthusiasm that has kept us going throughout it all.”

The principal thanked the faculty for “their valiant efforts” as they guided and sustained each of their students in unusual circumstances. She also thanked the parents for their support and “for having faith in us and for valuing your daughters’ health, well-being and education above all else.”

Turning to the graduates, Finer added, “We wish you all great joy in your lives and hope each of you will continue to embrace your passion for learning and for living.”

During the ceremony, Finer singled out the following seven students as recipients of major awards: Danika Gorak and Delaney Paul each received the Award for Academic Excellence; Madison Scott and Olivia Villalta each received the Mary Candace Rucker Award for Outstanding Service; Sarah Sullivan and Elodie Szlasa each received the Ruth Anne Murray “Great Heart” Award; Sullivan also received the Student Choice Award; and Janelle Lopez-Pizarro received the Scholar Athlete award.
A Catholic, independent college preparatory school for girls in grades 6 through 12, Immaculate Heart has been located on a beautiful hillside property in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles since our founding by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1906. We celebrate more than a century of nurturing the spiritual, intellectual, social and moral development of students as they distinguish themselves as women of great heart and right conscience.