Former President Bill Clinton surprised many when he took the stage Friday afternoon during the commencement cermonies at .
"I'm here mostly as a proud uncle," he told the crowd after thanking the teachers and administrators. "The secretary of state is here with me as a proud aunt."
In a speech that touched upon the importance of education and the current economic state, the former president emphasized the importance of teamwork.
"You live in a world where what works is cooperation and teamwork," he told graduates. "The more successful individuals find themselves on good teams where we work together."
He also encouraged students to choose to live their dreams, using his own high school reunion experiences as an example.
"The saddest of my classmates are not those who have failed ... the saddest ones are those who had dreams and did not try to achieve them," Clinton said. "Do not be afraid. Go out and live your dreams."
Nevertheless, the former president couldn't help but make a dig at Redondo Union rival in Manhattan Beach.
"According to my nephew, you beat Mira Costa for the first time in lacrosse and again in football," Clinton said. "Even your principal said I could rub it in."
Clinton, whose nephew was among the graduates, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remained in the audience throughout the rest of the ceremony, paying rapt attention as Principal Nicole Wesley recognized members of Cervantes, the Spanish Honor Society; California Scholarship Federation; Academic Decathlon; the staffs of High Tide and the Pilot; and the International Thespian Society.
Other speakers included junior Emily Su, the scholarship mantle bearer; valedictorian Charlotte Kim; salutatorian Dylan Scarcliff; Class President Madison Hall; and Alexander Guzman. Madison Hall led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Clay Attig sang the "Star Spangled Banner." Members of the school's Marine Corps Junior ROTC program presented the colors.
The Class of 2012, which is one of more than 100 that has graduated from Redondo Union, has .
After the ceremony, Clinton went next door to for a .
Correction: The name of Cervantes, the Spanish Honor Society, was originally misstated. It has been corrected in the text above. We regret the error.