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Graduation arrives for Burbank High School students

Thousands of camera-clutching family members and friends flocked to the Starlight Bowl Friday evening to watch the roughly 700 Burbank High School graduates rearrange the tassels on their mortarboards.

It was a bittersweet evening for many graduates, who while ready to tackle the next stage of their lives, were emotional about the friends and memories they were leaving behind.

PHOTOS: Burbank High School graduation 

"I feel like I might cry," said graduate Angel Guerrero, 17. "Because this family is really close."

He meant his graduating class, members of which over the last four years have become his brothers and sisters, he said.

"Our class is really drama-free," he said, adding that he's known many since elementary school. "They're good, positive people, overachievers, people who expect to do well in life."

In fact, 87 students of the graduating class — dubbed "legends in the making" — earned above a 4.0 grade point average, school officials said.

Colorful balloons swayed from the rails of the amphitheater as Vitamin C's "Graduation" pulsed from the speakers while a sea of graduates clad in blue caps and gowns lined up and smiled for photos.

Among them was Elizabeth Rodriguez, 17, who felt relieved that high school was finally over.

"Now I can move on to college and pursue my career," said Rodriguez, an aspiring osteopathic surgeon.

For Lilyana Herrera, 18, the fact that high school was over hadn't hit her yet.

"I'm sure as I cross that stage it'll sink in," she said.

In the fall, Herrera plans to attend North-West College to study to become a pharmacy technician.

Nairie Aintablian, 17, plans to attend Santa Monica College next year to study psychology.

"I'm excited for the rest of my life," she said. "This is the beginning of a new beginning."

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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