Congratulations, HPHS Centennial Class of 2023

More than 560 members of the Highland Park High School Centennial Class of 2023 walked the stage May 26 at SMU’s Moody Coliseum.

This year’s class of 563 includes 16 National Merit Finalists, 35 National Merit Commended Students, 13 National Hispanic Recognition Scholars, seven National Indigenous Recognition Scholars, and two National African American Recognition Scholars.

“We are proud of the individual accomplishments and the collective accomplishments of this class,” Highland Park High School principal Jeremy Gilbert said. “Behind every student success story there is a great teacher.”

The valedictorian Evan Huang served as the president of the Highland Park National Honor Society and the French Club, as well as the editor-in-chief of the Haute Ecriture French Publication. This fall, Huang will study economics at Harvard University.

The Salutatorian Michelle Xing has been a member of the Highland Park High School math and science teams since her freshman year and has also served as the captain of both. In addition to her academic pursuits, Xing is involved in a variety of community service activities, serving as the president of the Asian Culture Association (ACA) and as an HPHS ambassador. This fall she’s planning to study computer science and mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The 2023 Blanket Award went to Olivia Fox and Jack True. Between them, they have amassed more than 600 hours of community service and were collectively involved in more than 20 HPHS extracurricular activities.

Graduation for the class of 2023 was also notable because it was the last Highland Park graduation the district’s eighth superintendent, Dr. Tom Trigg. The district’s ninth superintendent, Dr. Mike Rockwood, began serving as acting superintendent May 27.

“To the class of 2023, the Highland Park High School centennial graduation class, I really hope you’ve had time to reflect on your final moments as a high school student,” Trigg said. “It’s a thrilling time in your life, and I know your calendars are full of exciting activities, but I ask you to take a moment and just reflect on the teachers from preschool up to your senior year who have had such a positive impact on you and were there to support you. Take some time to remember your classmates and the friendships you have forged.”

PHOTOS: Lauren Ruminer

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at

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