HEHS Class of 2020 graduates virtually, celebrates at home

Jodee Capati, Lead Reporter

The HEHS Class of 2020 will go down in history as the first and (hopefully) last graduating batch to celebrate a graduation ceremony online and at home.

Even though most students hoped for an actual in-person graduation ceremony, it still holds a special meaning towards us. Whether it may be celebrated in the presence of our friends or in the comfort of our loved ones, it still became a “graduation of a lifetime.”

“Our graduation was one of a kind and will be unforgettable,” said Emmanuel Mijares, HEHS graduate.

This year’s graduation ceremony streamed via Youtube Live at 6 p.m., the same time students would have been beginning to walk into their graduation ceremony if it had occurred the way it was originally planned.

The ceremony was filmed in the school’s newly-renovated media center. Principal Josh Schumacher, Saagar Patel, Academic Scholars’ Representative, and Dr. Heidi Davey, Faculty Speaker from the English Department, all gave their speeches in their cap and gown outfits.

“Graduation was the culmination of all my achievements and growth. It was a special moment for my friends that went through the journey with me,” said Michael Calibugar, HEHS graduate.

Even if most senior events were cancelled this year, the graduation ceremony did seek to provide students a celebration that came close to an actual feel of an event they have been waiting for for the past four years.

“I didn’t get the sense of closure I would with a real graduation, but I still felt very proud of my friends and myself when I saw [our] names on screen,” said Graciela Ruiz, HEHS graduate.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” added Sabrina Galvez, HEHS graduate.

While the school did try to give students a memorable experience in the midst of so many limitations due to the pandemic, there were some technological glitches such as students having a difficult time accessing the presentation. 

“They couldn’t have been avoided since there were a lot of students trying to access the video at the same time,” said  Lianna Capistrano, HEHS graduate.