Class of 2023 Celebrates Graduation with Banquet and Disney Fun


The Class of 2023 poses for their goofy class photo at the beginning of the year. Soon they will be celebrating their graduation from Pinewood with a banquet and Disneyland trip.

Arjun Kelkar, News Writer

As the school year draws to a close, graduating seniors have two exciting events to look forward to: the Senior Class Banquet on May 16, their graduation ceremony on May 24, and the Disney Grad Nite from May 25 to 27. These events offer students the opportunity to celebrate their achievements and create lasting memories with their peers before embarking on the next phase of their lives. 

Director of Community and Alumni Engagement Anne Wong said planning for these events began months in advance. 

“We reserve the venue and coordinate catering, and parents are involved in decorating, check-ins, and making a slideshow,” Wong said. “It’s a significant event for graduating seniors as it marks the end of their high school experience and provides an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and say goodbye to peers and teachers.”

Hosted at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, senior students and parents will enjoy speeches from the class advisors and a slideshow of memories from the students’ time at Pinewood. 

“The speeches from the class advisors can be memorable as they may share anecdotes, words of wisdom, or heartfelt messages with the graduating class,” Wong said. “The slideshow can also be a touching moment as it often features photos and memories from their time at Pinewood, highlighting the accomplishments and milestones of the graduating class.”

Soon after the Senior Class Banquet, seniors will have their graduation ceremony with keynote speaker Sterling Anderson, a leader in the high-technology industry, witha focus on self-driving. Anderson has assisted in the launches of products like Tesla’s autopilot feature. Currently, he serves as the Chief Product Officer of Aurora, a company he co-founded. 

Grad Nite is another yearly exciting event seniors can look forward to: students will fly to Los Angeles to celebrate their time at Pinewood and have fun with their peers at Disneyland. On May 25, students will be treated to a private party at Disney California Adventure with dance floors, DJs, and a fireworks display. On May 26, seniors will find themselves spending the day exploring Disneyland and going bowling. 

“By immersing themselves in the fun and exciting atmosphere of Disney Grad Nite, students can temporarily escape their worries and concerns about the future,” Wong said. “They can focus on enjoying the rides and attractions, socializing with their peers, and participating in the special entertainment this event offers.”

Graduating senior Vincent Chen said he’s excited for the upcoming events. 

“I’m definitely looking forward to the Senior Banquet and Disneyland trip since it’ll be a nice send-off for people that I’ve spent almost a quarter of my life with,” Chen said. 

As the graduating seniors prepare to leave, Chen has some words of wisdom for future Pinewood students. 

“You’ll become as cool as us eventually, maybe,” Chen said.