On Wednesday, August 18, the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) presented its 2021 Summer Graduation Ceremony. The second annual event, which took place in the PYLUSD Performing Arts Center, included 20 accomplished students who could not graduate with their fellow seniors in June for various reasons, some out of their control.
To begin the ceremony, the graduates beamed as they walked out in their caps and gowns to the customary “Pomp and Circumstance” in front of a crowd full of their loved ones.
Honored guests in attendance included Superintendent, Dr. Jim Elsasser, Assistant Superintendents Dr. Linda Adamson, Rick Lopez, and Richard McAlindin as well as Director of High School Education, Gina Aguilar. El Camino Real High School Principal, Carey Aiello, Esperanza High School Assistant Principal, Scott Mazurier, Valencia High School Principal, Chris Herzfeld, and school counselors from each site were also there to support their graduating students.
After a warm welcome from Mrs. Aguilar and the Pledge of Allegiance, Dr. Elsasser addressed the graduating students with congratulatory sentiments.
“As I look upon you in your caps and gowns, I am reminded of a quote from American inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison, which says: Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Following a summer of relentless determination, endless hard work, and academic achievement, that is exactly what you’ve done…succeeded…when you very easily could have given up,” Dr. Elsasser shared. “As a result, we will witness as you become high school graduates before us this evening. We could not be more proud of you for persevering through your K-12 academic journey, one in which you undoubtedly faced challenges and obstacles along the way in order to reach this considerable milestone in your young lives. ”
Mrs. Aguilar verified that the class had met all of the course requirements necessary to earn a diploma from PYLUSD and the State of California. Each graduate then enthusiastically walked across the stage to shake the hand of each honored guest and to receive their diploma. As they did, their principal or assistant principal shared kind words about each graduate and their time in high school as well as their plans for the future.
Mrs. Aguilar then officially announced the graduates as the Class of 2021. Cheers erupted as this unique graduation ceremony concluded and graduates processed out to meet their loved ones.
The Class of 2021 included Liliana Arauz Jordan, Gustavo Almaguer, German Espino Juarez, Michael Lobato, Alex Lobertini, Carlos Maldonado, Kyley Maris, Lilyann Ochoa, and Claudia Sanchez from El Camino Real High School; Evelyn Faria, Montana Fenn, Jonathan Gonzalez, Alexis Machado, Adrian Moreno, and Sergio Zambrano from Esperanza High School; and Oliver Balvaneda, Lluvicela Falcon, Eduardo Perez, Danny Reynoso, and Angie Rivas from Valencia High School.
Congrats, graduates! PYLUSD wishes you the best as you advance on to your next adventure whether it be pursuing a higher education, entering the workforce, or embarking on some other type of postsecondary journey.