Donned in their traditional red and black school colors, Hart High School’s Class of 2021 celebrated graduation together Friday.
In a ceremony held at its usual location on the College of the Canyons football field, Hart families cheered from the stands and students waved to their parents once they spotted them in their assigned section.
Of the 475 Hart graduates this year, 130 graduated as honors scholars. Their most common schools of choice were University of California, Los Angeles, Grand Canyon University, Brigham Young University and Boise State University.
During his final address to the class, Hart Principal Jason d’Autremont joked about how students’ entertainment options changed this past year, from participating in family game night instead of going to a school dance, or binging Netflix instead of going to a football game on a Friday night.
But d’Autremont said despite the fact that they might’ve had fewer options in 2020, the ability to make wise choices had been instilled in the students over their last four years at Hart — and their ability to choose wisely will open up doors for them.
“I can guarantee you that you will have many more obstacle courses ahead of you in the coming years,” said d’Autremont. “It is how well you navigate those courses, and in what manner of what you do so, that will define you.”
Class speaker Kyla Jones built on what her principal said regarding the confidence Hart students should have based on the tools they were taught while on campus, saying they won’t tread water upon entering the next chapter, but rather they “learned how to sail.”
“In the future, the skills we learned together, how to cope, how to grieve and ultimately how to live, will not only keep us afloat, but also help us to thrive,” said Jones. “I mean, we’ve been in a constant state of change since the beginning. Adulthood is just the next step.”
Hart’s first class speaker, Zoe Titus, built on another theme laid out by her principal, telling her fellow classmates that regardless of what they choose to do after an extremely challenging year, it will be their choice.
“If you don’t feel prepared and you feel scared, just look around you — we all are,” said Titus. “But if you turn your heads over to our teachers, our administration, our coaches, our amazing supervisors and staff, and all of our devoted, loving parents, and look at their faces, you can tell they’re all smiling under those masks.”
“We aren’t alone and we’re supported, and everyone around us knows that we’re ready,” she added. “So go on and make an impact, Class of 2021.”