Latino Graduation Celebration 2024

Latino Graduation Celebration 2024
student showing off their stoll during a graduation ceremony

Student and family belonging is a foundational commitment of the Northshore School District. Belonging is more than just fitting in; it's about feeling embraced for who you are. It's about finding a school community where your voice matters and a space that respects and honors your culture, your language, and your heritage. Belonging is when your presence makes a difference to others in the school or district community.

On June 11, in support of this commitment Northshore School District hosted its first Latino Graduation Celebration. The celebration was organized by the district’s five Family Engagement Specialists (Maria Cisneros, Virginia Gonzalez, Patricia Herrera-Chavarria, Jazmin Loreto, and Mayela Martinez) and a group of  incredible parent leaders. Over 80 members of the Class of 2024 were recognized, representing Bothell, Inglemoor, Innovation Lab, North Creek, and Woodinville High Schools. School staff, administrators, and over 400 parents, friends, siblings, and extended family attended the event. 

The evening’s program included welcoming each graduate to the stage and sharing their family’s country of origin. Each NSD graduate then received a special stole, donated by the Northshore Schools Foundation and awarded by their school’s principal. Many of the students wore their stole, celebrating their Latino culture, during their school’s official graduation ceremony the following week. 

The program also included four student speakers - Thania Barcenas (Woodinville HS), Kyra Daniela Figueroa Ayala (Bothell HS), Baldo Ochoa (Inglemoor HS), and Angel Mirón (North Creek HS). These students shared what graduation means to them, many citing their pride in being Latino, and a recognition of the sacrifices their parents have made to ensure their successful K-12 educational journey. 

While the graduation celebration focused on our students’ academic achievements, the strength of their Latino culture and community was the centerpiece. Attendees had the opportunity to enjoy a dance by two Inglemoor students - Amelia Virgen and Evani Tapia, music performed by Inglemoor junior Diego Amaya, and food lovingly prepared and served by our families. It was a night filled with community pride, joy, and hope for the future. 

Family Engagement Specialist Jazmin Loreto, one of the event organizers, summed the experience up best when sharing her reflections on the celebration, “It was extremely gratifying to be able to collaborate and support our Hispanic families in creating such a wonderful culturally filled event. Our families were able to celebrate their graduates and enjoy the ceremony completely in Spanish - giving them a sense of belonging in our district. It is my hope that this was the first Hispanic graduation celebration of many to come.”

Congratulations to our 2023-24 graduates and thank you to the NSD Family Engagement Specialists and parent leaders who made the Latino Graduation Celebration possible. Finally, thank you to Tiffany Rodriguez the principal of Innovation Lab High School for providing the keynote speech, Maximo Camacho the Master of Ceremony, and the Northshore Schools Foundation for your unwavering support and commitment to our students, their families, and the Northshore School District. 



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