Mountain Pointe graduation 2011

Mountain Pointe graduates make their way to their seats during their graduation on the Mountain Pointe High School football field. May, 26, 2011- Darryl Webb/AFN

Darryl Webb

More than 1,000 Ahwatukee Foothills students will be graduating this week from the two public high schools in the area. Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools have the largest graduating classes in the Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) this year.

Desert Vista will see 720 students walk and Mountain Pointe will graduate 590 at ceremonies on Thursday. The two Ahwatukee Foothills schools will account for nearly half of the 3,182 graduating students in TUHSD.

Ajay Karpur was named valedictorian of Mountain Pointe and four students — Brandon Djaja, Huangang “Kevin” Zheng, Anes Sung and Jennifer Wu — will share the title at Desert Vista. Thomas Bello was named salutatorian of Mountain Pointe.

Desert Vista students received a total of $19,195,080 in scholarship money and Mountain Pointe students earned $12,606,004. TUHSD students as a whole received $58,434,431.

Of the Desert Vista graduates, 68 percent will attend a four-year college or university, 27 percent are signed up for a two-year college, 2 percent will attend a technical or vocational school, 2 percent will join the military, and the remaining 1 percent will start their careers.

Ninety-one percent of Mountain Pointe students will attend some sort of college or university and the remaining 9 percent will join the military, attend a vocational school or join the workforce.

Desert Vista student body president Julia Thatcher was one of two students in TUSHD to receive the ASU Leadership Scholarship.

Graduation ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. on May 24.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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