A Dedication to Remember


Stephanie Zhang

Principal John Pehrson speaks at the Portola High dedication ceremony along with many others.

Maya Sabbaghian and Stephanie Zhang

Portola High’s dedication ceremony was held on March 2 in the theater to commemorate those who helped build the school and to celebrate its official opening.

“Anytime you open up a new school, once it’s up and running, you get people involved in a celebration of all the work that went into it up to that point,” principal John Pehrson said.

Many members of the IUSD board spoke at the dedication ceremony including superintendent Terry Walker, Irvine mayor Donald Wagner and Pehrson.

“It’s very rare that high schools are built these days, but we’re one of the fastest growing districts, and so it’s really nice to bring everybody together and show off,” Walker said. “I love hearing about people who are from the city level, our developer partners, and hearing Principal Pehrson talk about our teams.”

String orchestra commenced the ceremony followed by many guest speakers including IUSD board president Ira Glasky, Irvine Co. development partner Mike Le Blanc and Five Point development partner Lynn Jochim. Guests watched videos of staff and students sharing their responses to different questions, such as how technology has impacted their school life and the culture of student and staff collaboration.

“I love any time our students are expressing their own sense of hope, and that was the most exciting part…we need to have students in the room and more voices, and the best way to do it was through the videos,” Walker said.

The night ended with final closing comments from Walker, who thanked everyone involved with the creation of Portola and expressed warm wishes for the future of Irvine’s fifth high school.