Pierce High School’s young adults followed in the footsteps of the alumni that came before them on Friday, although the path to receive their diplomas had taken a road never traveled.
In the final stretch of the school year, their campus closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet commencement remained relatively traditional to previous ceremonies with the students seated with exaggerated intervals, and families and friends coming out to cheer as their senior’s name was called.
Pierce High School started their in-person ceremony after a limited number of guests were admitted to the Gregg LeMaster Field, and the graduating seniors took their seats on the new bleachers.
Salutatorian Crystal Medina took to the podium to share a misadventure that culminated in assistance from numerous people, but became a learning experience for Medina in the importance of community.
“The truth is, we are blessed to live in our community, a place where personal relationships are fast to develop, where there is a culture that encourages us to help one another,” Medina said. “And when we foster a sense of belonging, during the best of times we come together and celebrate our success, and during the worst of times, we want to embrace the hardships as one.”
Pierce’s Valedictorian Alejandro Antonio Centeno thanked many people that helped him along his educational journey and recognized that each person in the community played a part in teaching him, his fellow classmates, and future generations.