- Business Advocacy
It’s safe to say the final year of high school for the class of 2020 didn’t go as planned. Although Covid-19 has forced cancellations of mainstay activities, it doesn’t mean seniors can’t still be celebrated for their amazing achievements. The district and its five high schools dedicated the month of May to their seniors, providing them with various honors to show how proud they are of the amazing accolades and resilience the 2020 class has shown over the last few months.
Stadium lighting ceremonies on May 8 were held at Aztec Field, Moor Field, and Matador Stadium to salute this senior class. Emotions were high as students were able to share this powerful moment with classmates and educators who they haven’t seen in months.
Later in May, lines of cars surrounded high schools as seniors traveled back to campus to pick up caps, gowns, and lawn signs, small tokens that represent their immeasurable achievement. Class of 2020 banners were donated and hung at all AUSD campuses, including elementary schools to honor eighth grade graduates as well. The generous donations were on behalf of Valley Vista Services and Monterey Highlands parent Cindy Gomez. In addition to the school banners, two large street banners were hung in Alhambra on Fremont, south of Commonwealth and in Monterey Park on Garfield, north of Garvey. These two banners were made possible by donations from various community members and organizations.
Traditional high school graduations, which were originally planned to take place the final week of May, were changed to virtual events to follow L.A. County Office of Education and Department of Public Health guidelines. The district is in constant communication with county officials, and will update their plans in accordance with new guidelines as they are released. Virtual ceremonies are scheduled for the first week of June: Alhambra and Mark Keppel High will take place on June 6, San Gabriel on June 9, while Century and Independence high schools will be on June 12. Links to view the ceremonies will be sent to the families of graduating seniors.
Despite the unconventional ceremonies, AUSD is extremely honored to be part of this unique and memorable celebration for the class of 2020. With well over 1,600 graduates, the district commends this year’s class for enduring and prevailing through unprecedented times. Superintendent Denise Jaramillo sees these seniors as a beacon of hope: “I am incredibly inspired by the AUSD graduating class of 2020. What should have been the final few months of school for them ended without warning, and they lost the opportunity for all of the celebrations and fun that comes with graduating. We can all learn lessons from how they handled this situation with grace and understanding. In watching them, I am confident that they are ready to take on this uncertain world. I wish each AUSD graduate the very best and congratulations!”