Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Graduation 2014: Hillsborough High



VALEDICTORIANS: Chelsie Murphy (traditional), Samuel Russell (IB)

SALUTATORIANS: Kourtney Melendi (traditional), Chindu Mohanakumar

SPEAKERS: Assistant principal Melvin Williams, student body president Anna Paz, IB class president Nina Pham, traditional class president Alejandra Rosendo, principal Johan von Ancken, Melendi, Mohanakumar, Murphy and Russell.

FAMOUS PEOPLE QUOTED: Pham invoked FSU quarterback Jameis Winston ("We control our own destiny, and those men looked me in the eye and said, 'We got this, Jameis' … and I said, 'We stronger.' ") Mohanakumar quoted Drake ("We could do it real big, bigger than you ever done it.") Russell was more succinct, with words from Dan Quayle ("The future will be better tomorrow.")

CLASS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The seniors were awarded more than $9.5 million in scholarships and have accrued a total of 28,000 community service hours.

NEW RECORD: Russell graduated with a GPA of 9.64, the highest in Hillsborough High history. He ranks second in the district and will be attending Princeton in the fall.

SPECIAL MOMENT: Murphy teared up during her speech, thanking her class for her amazing memories of the past four years.

INSIDE STORY: Traditional senior president Alejandra Rosendo said she "really wanted to start [her] speech with the chest bump from The Wolf of Wall Street, but I was told to keep it short and appropriate."

Kate Fueyo, Tampa Preparatory, tb-two* staff

Graduation 2014

Brought to you by tb-two* — the Times' weekly newspaper and website produced by high school students during the school year. Check out our graduation stories and photos at and Send us your graduation photos from Instagram and Twitter tagged #tbgrads2014.

Graduation 2014: Hillsborough High 06/02/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2014 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas County receives $30 million for beach renourishment

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– While Pinellas beaches continually rank among the best in America, they need help to stay that way.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $30 million to help with beach renourishment at several Pinellas locations, including including Sand Key, Treasure Island and Upham Beach. This photo from 2014 shows how waves from high tides caused beach erosion at Sunset Beach near Mansions by the Sea condominium complex SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  2. Straz Center parking squeeze infuriates patrons, motivates search for solutions


    TAMPA — When the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened 30 years ago, it welcomed just 30,000 patrons its first year.

    Fireworks shoot into the sky over the David A. Straz Jr. Center For The Performing Arts. [SCOTT MCINTYRE, Times]
  3. Video shows naked man who stole swan sculpture in Lakeland, deputies say


    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for a large swan sculpture that was stolen from a Lakeland cold storage facility last weekend, possibly by a naked man.

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office says this naked man stole a large black and white swan sculpture, upper right, from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend. Surveillance video showed the man walking into Lakeland Cold Storage. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning


    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  5. Jeb money trickles into Putnam's bid for governor


    Money from a Jeb Bush super PAC has made its way into Florida’s 2018 governors race.
    A year ago, Bush’s Right to Rise PAC put $1,171 in money