The staff and faculty at Canyon High School sent off the Class of 2020 in a two-part graduation ceremony Wednesday. As will be the case with all other William S. Hart Union High School District graduations this year, the event began with a drive-thru graduation ceremony.
During this ceremony, students and their parents were asked to drive through a line at Central Park. When the student’s vehicle reached the stage, they were allowed to hop out of their vehicles to the cheers of their family, take quick pictures and then receive their diplomas on stage.
Nearby was a group of socially distanced teachers and staff cheering on Canyon High’s Class of 2020 one last time.
At 8:30 a.m., once the first batch of graduates began returning home from Central Park, there was another ceremony posted to YouTube in honor of the Cowboys’ Class of 2020. The graduates were invited to virtually attend the ceremony and watch the video their teachers and classmates created before drive-thru graduations became permissible.
During the virtual ceremony, which was made available to the public, the Class of 2020 heard from Canyon High Principal Shellie Holcombe one final time before calling themselves Cowboy alumni.
The unique situations and tragedies students faced this year may have made the Class of 2020 the most prepared graduating class in the school’s history, Holcombe said during a message she filmed on campus.
“You have experienced firsthand what it takes to face adversity and watch it perish with your patience and perseverance,” said Holcombe. “Never has your vision been more clear; your perspective has been forever changed for the better.
“You now have a wide open lens to see the value of your hard work,” Holcombe added.
Class speakers Alen Iqbal, the valedictorian, and Estavan Covarrubias, both discussed how they wanted their classmates to learn and grow from the challenges they faced this year.
“We all survived wildfires, evacuations and the pandemic; if any class has strength, we do,” said Iqbal. “Let us not forget as the Class of 2020, we have the grit, the determination and the vitality to achieve our dreams.”
“If the difficulties we have faced will define us in any way, may it be for better and not worse,” Covarrubias said during his speech. “If anything good can come out of such tragedies, let them show the authenticity of our class.”