LYNWOOD—Lynwood Unified seniors celebrated their commencement like no class had before them as they were honored through a variety of socially distanced events that culminated their triumph through a challenging year.
Class of 2020 graduates were cheered wildly during drive-through ceremonies, surprised outside their homes with lawn signs, and ultimately commemorated through virtual ceremonies that adhered to public health guidelines while still providing a memorable send-off.
“This is definitely something we will always remember,” Firebaugh High School Salutatorian Angelica Ramirez said. “This is not exactly the way we imagined our graduation, but it is very special. We’re all healthy and excited to be moving forward in our lives.”
Ramirez was one of nearly 1,000 Lynwood Unified graduates who took a giant step forward.
Lynwood High School - 400 graduates
Lynwood High enjoyed a pair of drive-through dates on June 11 and June 12 that met students with music, the cheer squad, and adoring teachers and staff. The Knights aired their virtual ceremony on June 17 which recognized each graduate. Valedictorian Andrea Alvarez, who boasts a 4.48 GPA and will head to UCLA, challenged her classmates to continue affecting change in the world. Ariana Enriquez, who has a 4.4 GPA and will attend UC Davis, was the salutatorian.
Firebaugh High School – 340 graduates
The Falcons opened their campus parking lot to applaud their graduates on June 15 and June 17. The school’s virtual event aired on June 16 when valedictorian Arli Paredes Mendieta spoke about her parent’s moving from Puebla in Mexico 25 years ago to pave the way for her success. Mendieta, with a 4.6 GPA, will major in biology at UCLA and wants to research diseases to prevent any future pandemic. Salutatorians Ramirez, heading to Stanford, Lessly Villa, heading to USC, and Silvia Naranjo, heading to UCLA, each earned a 4.5 GPA.
Vista High School and Pathway Independent Studies – 250 graduates
Vista and Pathway Independent Studies combined celebrations during a June 16 drive-through. The virtual ceremony for the schools aired on June 15 when Kimberly Ramos represented Vista as valedictorian, and Camira Truss as valedictorian for Pathway.
“This year’s graduating class brought new meaning to resilience as they worked to achieve their goals despite so many obstacles,” LUSD Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “What they accomplished this year will serve them in their future success. We are so proud of the Class of 2020.”
LUSD Board President Gary Hardie Jr. addressed the graduates in a video message that applauded their work and expressed excitement about their future.
“Your grades, awards, college acceptances, or even your path do not define who you are. Your purpose does,” Hardie said. “We look forward to learning about the amazing things you will do. Know that we are all cheering you on!”