San Diego Jewish Academy held their graduation on Sunday, June 7, for a class of 38 students, all of whom Principal Jeff Davis called exceptional.
"What's noteworthy about the class of 2009 is the leadership they provided as exemplary role models," Davis said. "They displayed all the characteristics of kindness, thoughtfulness and caring."
Davis said it was evident from their graduation speeches that the students understand their sense of obligation to be good citizens and people.
"They understand about their commitment and responsibility to their community and their families," Davis said. "They understand that the world doesn't revolve around them."
SDJA doesn't award a valedictorian, instead students and faculty vote on the recipient of their highest award, the Derek Eretz Award.
Davis said that 100 percent of both students and faculty chose to give it to Matthew Beaver, who died on Jan. 14 at age 17 after a battle with cancer. His family accepted his diploma on Sunday.
The class of 2009 received 147 college acceptances and more than $1.6 million in National Merit Scholarship offers. Seniors were accepted to schools including Brown University,
UCLA, Washington University in St. Louis, New York University and Emory University.