Though both their campuses had been closed down due to the coronavirus, it did not stop 101 graduates of the Academy of the Canyons graduating class of 2020 from celebrating the end of their journey.
During a drive-thru graduation held in Central Park, followed by a virtual commencement ceremony posted to YouTube, the students and staff of AOC relived the experiences they had with one another.
School Principal Pete Getz shared how the coronavirus had taken him out of the school and away from his life’s work, but had given him more time to spend with his friends and family.
“There is no doubt you will follow your dreams and academic aspirations,” said Getz, when addressing the class of 2020 one last time. “Your journey has certainly departed from its original course a bit, that’s OK. You’ll get back on the horse.”
“Nonetheless,” he added, “we look forward to watching you shine; we look forward to watching you change the world.”
During the virtual graduation, class speakers Grace Elias, Namita Shyam and Kaitlyn Blau shared their individual experiences at AOC.
“Class of 2020, as we move on to become world renowned doctors, lawyers, athletes or artists, I wish you many more memories, many more lessons and countless cups of coffee,” said Elias.
Shyam discussed how the tumultuous ending to the year had not soiled the memories she made through the years with her 100 other classmates.
“I’m so happy to have gotten to know each and every one of you, struggle with each of you and laugh with each of you through these past couple years,” said Shyam.
The virtual ceremony concluded with a speech from Blau, who spoke to how AOC had been like a home to her through the years.
“I would like to say home is much more than just a place you live at. It’s a place you feel welcome, loved and supported,” said Blaum. “So thank you AOC, for giving me the opportunity to feel at home, no matter what.”