Grads hit the streets with parades, celebrations

GRADS HIT THE STREETS — Corona’s Class of 2020 didn’t let a pandemic get in the way of celebrating their big moment in the sun. The parade of decorated cars began in the parking lot of Arizona Community Church and wound its way through the neighborhood streets of nearby Warner Ranch. Friends, family and neighbors lined the streets, cheering and taking video with their smartphones.
— Photo by Billy Hardiman for Wrangler News

Members of the high-school graduating class of 2020 are not strangers to national crises. They were born, after all, in the midst of the 9/11 terror attacks and are now living through a pandemic that has shaken the nation to its core. As a result, graduation ceremonies have been reinvented, and the Tempe Union High School District marked them in a big way by kicking off a week-long series of special events.

“We are excited for our seniors,” said TUHSD Superintendent Kevin Mendivil. “We have an amazing Class of 2020 and we’ve put together a full slate of programming to celebrate them thoroughly.”

Mendivil also shared that planning continues for modified, in-person ceremonies on July 18, pending the safety guidelines around large gatherings issued by the CDC, State of Arizona, and Maricopa County.

TUHSD schools held “Senior Send-off” events May 21st with plenty of school spirit and with virtual graduation ceremonies streamed that evening, followed by fireworks at each campus. At Marcos de Niza, graduates were encouraged to decorate their cars and were cheered on by their teachers and administrators as they drove through during the send-off event. Similar celebrations took place at Corona, Tempe and McClintock high schools. Diplomas, cords and graduation programs were distributed with many parents making signs to celebrate their seniors.

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