Citrus Valley High School presented its virtual graduation at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23.
The live broadcast included drone footage of the campus and highlighted parts of Redlands, including Redlands Bowl, where the graduation would have taken place if public gathering were not prohibited by the state and county due to coronavirus.
The video showed students receiving their diplomas on Thursday, June 11, during their drive-up graduation and parents cheering from cars.
Outgoing senior Sarah McClung sang a perfect “Star-Spangled Banner” to begin the ceremony.
Citrus Valley Principal Rhonda Bruce welcomed viewers to the school’s ninth graduation ceremony, also it’s first virtual graduation.
“Although this isn’t what we wanted, we are very happy to share this very special ceremony that we have lovingly put together to celebrate to the very special class of 2020,” said Bruce.
The five banners that spell CLASS were presented by five students that personified each of the tenets of Citrus Valley.
CLASS stands for character, leadership, attitude, scholarship and service.
Christina Andronescu carried the C banner, Emily Blomquist received the L banner, Abigail “Abby” Brusia had the A banner, Sarah Connell earned the S banner and Kassidy Burnett held the Service banner.
Makaley Montano was voted the recipient of the overall CLASS banner.
“Throughout her four years at Citrus Valley, Makaley has dedicated herself to the notion of CLASS. Therefore, it is fitting the Makaley has been selected as the student that exemplifies all five tenets of CLASS,” said Citrus Valley’s Mr. Galloway.
Each of the students received the banners at their homes and spoke of what it meant to have the honor of carrying the banner.
As the Class of 2020 was presented, between each segment of announcements, students talked about their impactful experiences at Citrus Valley High School.
In another segment, students thanked their parents, friends, teachers, counselors, coaches and other staff members for their time and attention to the students.
Many students spoke highly of the education and preparation they have received at Citrus Valley.
Alex Vara, a school board member, offered words of encouragement to the Class of 2020.
“Your future and ours will be different,” said Vara. “No matter what you do, be prepared to be innovative. Your class will always be remembered for being resilient, humble and heroic.”
Staff member Jerry Shearer delivered a heartfelt congratulatory speech to the seniors.
“You are not the ‘class of COVID,’” said Shearer. “You are Citrus Valley’s ninth class of seniors. Your creativity and along with your understanding of technology will be in high demand.”
Seniors Sarah McClung and Kassidy Burnett sang a wonderful song, “For Good.”
The song talks about how people are brought into lives of others to help them grow.
As the students were called as if walking on the stage, the video showed their senior portrait along with a several second clip of the senior waving, moving their tassel or smiling.
The virtual graduation concluded with the singing of the Blackhawk alma mater, presented by a brass quintet and several singers.
During the song, an aerial view of the campus filled the screen.
Senior Jack Sennet closed the ceremony with a song from Green Day titled “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”
Hail the black and gold and the Class of 2020.