The pandemic has made for some unusual but wonderful graduation ceremonies at the Huntington Beach Adult School. From last year’s drive-thru graduation to this winter’s virtual ceremony, HBAS has found creative (and safe) ways to honor our students. This June, we continued the trend by hosting a “Carmencement” Ceremony for our Diploma/GED Class of 2020-2021.
On June 17, our graduates (and those who came along for the ride) drove up to the Gothard Campus parking lot to celebrate their achievements at HBAS. Those who couldn’t attend were able to live stream the ceremony on our website.
HBAS Principal Steve Curiel kicked things off by welcoming everyone and thanking our graduates “for weathering the storm.” And he didn’t just mean the “storm” of a global pandemic—we had an unexpected (but brief) downpour before the ceremony. Luckily, our diplomas were safe and sound under a canopy!
After that near mishap, we were ready to introduce the Class of 2020-2021. HBAS staff announced each student as they approached the stage in cap and gown, diploma in hand. While graduates posed for photos with Principal Curiel, we heard about their future plans and thank you messages for their families and HBAS staff.
Marisela, for example, plans to pursue a career in special education. She is “forever grateful to HBAS staff for not giving up on students, their flexibility and determination to help students follow their dreams—no matter the timeline.”
In addition to several teacher awards, HBAS gave special recognition to three scholarship winners. Uyen Pham and Anh Tran received scholarships from our partners at the Simon Youth Foundation, while Hanna Durand received the Huntington Beach Administrators Association (HBAA) Scholarship.
After leaving the stage, each graduate (and their accompanying vehicle) headed to the giant HBAS letters. Teachers and support staff greeted them excitedly with cheers and high fives, proud of their hard work on the journey to commencement. Graduates signed the giant letters and took photos with family and friends.
We love the intimate nature of the drive-thru graduation. Getting a chance to spotlight and celebrate with each student was a fitting way to send them off to the next stage of their journey.
Congratulations to the brave, resilient Class of 2020-2021. It’s been a true honor to work with 79 Diploma and GED graduates during a year like no other. We can't wait to see the places you’ll go!