Celebrating the culmination of their elementary, junior high and high school academic years, the 655 graduates of Dana Hills High School’s class of 2014 toss their caps into their air Tuesday, June 24 before leaving their Dolphin family behind. Photo: Andrea Papagianis
Celebrating the culmination of their elementary, junior high and high school academic years, the 655 graduates of Dana Hills High School’s class of 2014 toss their caps into their air Tuesday, June 24 before leaving their Dolphin family behind. Photo: Andrea Papagianis

By Andrea Papagianis

At the direction of Dr. Jason Allemann, principal of Dana Hills High School, the graduating class of 2014 stood in synchronization. Clad in Dolphin blue and crisp white gowns, with their tassels hanging from mortarboard caps, they waited for further instruction. Two peers stood before them.

As one collective body, the 655 soon-to-be graduates readied to take one last, wild ride together.

“Click, click, click,” they voiced in harmony with their arms in motion, chugging up a steep, imaginary hill. “Weeee,” they squealed as their arms raced down their sides, mimicking a long, fast rollercoaster drop.

As one, they twisted and turned, laughed and smiled on that final coaster ride that is high school.

“Today, my memory ignores the garb that reflects my highest degree and I recall what I wore on this field many years ago,” Allemann, a Dana Hills graduate himself, said before pulling a royal blue gown from the lectern. “The color of the robe today doesn’t predict the outcome of you tomorrow. It is what you do after this moment that means something.”

He, nor many of his teachers, could have predicted that Allemann would one day become a principal and return to lead his alma mater.

But, it is a journey that began as he stood in their shoes, on that same field. It’s the journey, the ride, the adventure, one of their own, that Dana’s graduating students, as of Tuesday, June 24, are now embarking on. No telling where it will take them.

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