June 4th was a hot day in the Rose Bowl, but for the Pasadena Unified School District Class of 2021, the atmosphere was cool, exciting and celebratory.
By Jennifer Hall lee
PUSD Superintendent Dr. Brian McDonald and School Board President Scott Phelps acknowledged the hardships brought by the pandemic. They honored the amazing persistence of these graduates. School Board Trustees and PUSD staff were present for the ceremonies as well as Pasadena Councilmember Tyron Hampton.
The valedictorians and Associated Student Body presidents from all six high schools thanked their dedicated teachers, principals and advisors for getting them through this pandemic year to this glorious graduation day.
Pasadena High School Valedictorian Ritaj Abdulquani shared a quote from the Koran, both in Arabic and in English, that she said had meant a lot to her since being a young child, “After hardship there is ease.”
During commencement ceremonies the tops of caps are often decorated with outgoing themes – a message to the world that says today is our day. One cap in particular captured the moment. Framed by paper flowers, in Spanish, it said: “For my parents who came with nothing but they gave me everything.”
The Blair JROTC presented colors during the national anthem for the second ceremony. The Pasadena graduating class is so large it was organized into two commencements.
At the end of each ceremony all seniors were instructed to turn their tassels from the right to left, another commencement ritual. And then, without being prompted, they tossed their caps into the hopeful air of the future.
According to Dr. McDonald the PUSD graduating class of 2021 is “A class of students who have watched the world change” and he added “We’ve watched you grow into skilled and compassionate problem solvers who will lead us into better days.”
> Watch the entire PUSD 2021 Graduation ceremony at this link.
We hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, please consider supporting the Colorado Boulevard’s journalism.
Billionaires, hedge fund owners and local imposters have a powerful hold on the information that reaches the public. Colorado Boulevard stands to serve the public interest – not profit motives.
While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and climate crisis while supporting reproductive rights and social justice. We provide a fresh perspective on local politics – one so often missing from so-called ‘local’ journalism.
You can access Colorado Boulevard’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. People like you, informed readers, keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence, and accessible to everyone.
Please consider supporting Colorado Boulevard today. Thank you. (Click to Support)