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Valley Vista holds drive-up graduation ‘parade’ for graduates

Sami Peterson hugs Amelia Bohn during the graduation celebration at Valley Vista High School on Wednesday.
Sami Peterson, left, hugs Amelia Bohn during the drive through graduation celebration at Valley Vista High School on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Valley Vista High School held its class of 2021 graduation in much the same manner as it did the year before, with the school opting to continue the drive-through commencement ceremony format.

The school had 145 confirmed graduates as of Tuesday afternoon, school principal Kerry Clitheroe said. Valley Vista, the continuation school of the Huntington Beach Union High School District, held its 29th annual graduation.

Masks remained a requirement for the school’s graduation, although graduates could remove their face coverings upon receiving their diploma. The graduates then faced their families to turn their tassels and take photos.

Skylar Brown moves her tassel to the left side of her cap during the Valley Vista High School graduation on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“Our graduating class has grown over the years, but I think I’m most proud of this class, my last,” said Clitheroe, who characterized the drive-through graduation format as a parade. “In the midst of a pandemic, you were forced to deal with a new beginning: distance learning. You accepted it as an opportunity to protect your own health, the health of those you love, and your community, and to continue to learn.

“You didn’t give up, you adapted. You didn’t see learning at home as an insurmountable obstacle, you accepted it as an opportunity, and you persevered. You have succeeded. One-hundred-forty-five of you are graduating! As I look back on my time at Valley Vista, I will remember all of you, this unique and wonderful class.

Reina Davis moves her tassel to the left side of her cap during the Valley Vista High School graduation on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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