Gifting the Class of 2020 the Opportunity to Be Remembered


Graphic by Annie Qiao

Portola High’s class of 2020 will be the first class to plan a senior gift. The executive board for the gift will consult administration as well as local colleges for help in planning once school resumes, according to ASB treasurer and senior Kyle Sugita.

Ava Caleca and Helena Hu

With the first class of Portola High scheduled to graduate in a few months, ASB is currently planning a senior class gift. A Google Form linked at @portola.asb on Instagram allowed seniors to suggest potential ideas for what the class gift should be. The project is currently on hold due to IUSD’s closure of schools and facilities, but a decision will be made once campus reopens.

The executive board, consisting of seniors and ASB vice president Nishad Francis, president Mustafa Hassan, secretary Priscilla Hui and treasurer Kyle Sugita, plans for the gift to be placed in the lawn behind the student commons.

“A senior gift is an opportunity for a class to leave something as a legacy for future years to benefit from,” principal John Pehrson said.  “While we will have some sort of commemorative plaque made with some noteworthy accomplishments for the year, the class has an additional opportunity to determine what they want to address, so that future Bulldogs can remember that class in a special way.”

The ideas that have been suggested as of now have included physical additions to campus, with ideas ranging from murals painted by the class to a sundial clock in the quad.

“If I got to choose the senior gift, I would probably choose something like a wall of tiles with the whole class signing it or having their pictures on it,” senior Haniya Malik said. “I think each person should get some part of it because we are the first class to graduate Portola.”

Because the gift is meant to represent the senior class as a whole, ASB is currently looking into the logistics of creating the top two suggestions, which are a bulldog statue with the Roman numerals for “2020” engraved on the collar and a jacaranda tree planted on campus, according to Sugita.

“Some people have tried to merge [the two ideas] to be a jacaranda tree with a guarding bulldog, which is pretty cool,” Sugita said. “There’s a couple of ideas circulating right now…ultimately, it’s going to be ASB taking what the students want and making the final decision.”

The gift will represent the foundation that the inaugural students worked to build since the beginning.

“This graduating class holds a special place in the hearts of the original staff because we all started something together,” Pehrson said. “We were all learning together, building together and growing together…when people work together for such a long time investing in something so meaningful, incredible bonds are formed, and breaking them is inevitably painful. The class of 2020 will be deeply missed.”