Riordan to graduate first coed class


Santino Woo '22

On June 5, Archbishop Riordan High School will graduate girls for the first time in its history. The ceremony will take place on Mayer Family Field and be live streamed for those who cannot attend.


On June 5, Archbishop Riordan High School will officially have its first coed graduating class, the Class of 2021. This year’s senior class will be the first graduating class at Riordan to consist of both male and female students.

Riordan, once San Francisco’s oldest all-boys school, was established in 1949 and became a co-educational institution in the fall of 2020. For 70 years, Riordan has had single-gender graduating classes, all consisting of young men. However, that will change this year as the Class of 2021 looks to make Riordan history.

Gianna DiGiulio ’21, Riordan’s first female student body president, said, “I feel very honored to be a member of this history-making class as the first coed graduating class Riordan has ever had. A few years ago, I would’ve never thought that I would be part of making history at this school, so to be one of the first girls to graduate here is an experience I will never forget.”

Although future, now coed, graduations will not look much different than past years in terms of traditions, this year’s graduation will be different due to COVID-19 and health and safety protocols. Aside from being the first coed graduation, this year’s graduation will be out on the Mayer Family Field with about 1,000 people spread out as safely as possible, which is a change from past years when graduation was in the James Linland Theatre.

Despite these changes, the soon to be Riordan graduates are feeling anxious as graduation day approaches but are also honored to be a part of such a historical class.

Coral Shafer ’21 stated, “It is really exciting to be part of the first coed graduating class of Riordan. It has really hit me what a monumental experience it is to be part of this first coed class, and how really we set the stage for all of Riordan’s future as a coed school.

Riordan seniors are also taking this time before graduation to reflect on their years at Riordan and everything that they were able to accomplish.

Jonathan Torrea ’21, student body president, recalled, “My favorite memory from Riordan has to be rehearsing for the plays and musicals. Acting and singing together to produce a final show was both stressful and fun. I’ve made my greatest friendships while in theater.”

Aside from the graduating class, Riordan faculty and staff are also excited for graduation and are very proud of everything the Class of 2021 was able to accomplish.

Vanessa Martinez, senior counselor, said, “This is a very exciting time and a momentous occasion. Next month will forever be remembered by the Riordan community and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Dr. Andrew Currier, Riordan president, stated, “This is a stellar class any which way you cut it. I am really proud of the accepting attitude of our senior boys and I am really grateful that our senior girls have pioneered the way for other girls in the younger grades. Our senior girls are phenomenal and it seems as though they’ve felt right at home even with the bizarre nature of this particular school year.  This is a class that will surely go down in the books as one of the best – not just because they are boys and girls – but because they endured a long shutdown and succeeded anyway.”

The future is bright for the Class of 2021 as they move on from high school and start a new chapter in their lives. They have set the stage for future coed classes and for Riordan as a coed school. They will move on feeling excited and anxious, but also appreciative and grateful for the support Riordan has provided them.

DiGiulio concluded, “I am very grateful to the Riordan community for welcoming me and all of the other new students with such open arms. I am so appreciative of the opportunities I was given to become involved so early on, and am honored to have been Riordan’s first female Student Body President.”

This story was originally published on The Crusader on May 26, 2021.