"This group of seniors that we have could be some of the nicest students I have ever encountered," Grissom said.
Grissom told the Voice that the kindness on campus goes beyond just a good vibe, and has turned into real action. The senior class has spearheaded the Mountain View Ambassadors Club, which helps new students — freshman or otherwise — learn their way around the campus, get acclimatized and meet new friends through events like potlucks and parent information nights. The club was started a few years ago by students who are now heading off to college this year, Grissom said.
The graduating seniors also showed strong compassion through the Spartan Buddies club, where students from the traditional high school program pair up with students with disabilities in special education, building friendships and bridging the gap between two otherwise isolated groups of students. The club attracts dozens of students each year.
The class of 2016 continued several trends that show academic achievement is on the rise at Mountain View High School. Despite the slightly smaller class this year, a whopping 54 students had a weighted 4.5 GPA or higher across seven semesters — up from 45 last year, and 35 the year before. The graduates are also more bilingual than ever, with 152 sporting the statewide "seal of biliteracy" that shows students are fluent in both English and another language.
Students who had an unweighted 4.0 GPA or a weighted 4.5 GPA or higher over the last four years were recognized as "academic scholars" at the ceremony, and sat with the rest of their peers during the ceremony. Grissom said the designation is in lieu naming valedictorians, which he said the school has ditched since about 2010 in favor of the broader recognition.
Many of the graduating seniors also participated in the wildly successful Spartan Robotics team, which built complex robots that could grab, fling and manipulate objects on a dime. The team made it to the grand finals in St. Louis two times in the last three years to complete against teams across the globe.
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