Community High School celebrated the 140 graduating seniors in the class of 2020 with an in-car procession and a virtual commencement ceremony on June 12, 2020.
Graduation ceremonies are typically a farewell, but the in-car procession also served as a welcome back, as it served as the first time in nearly three months that students had the chance to see many of their teachers in person. For over 90 minutes
The procession served as a warm-up act for the commencement ceremony that evening. While the students, staff and families weren’t physically together, the ceremony held true to Community’s tradition of allowing each graduate a chance to give brief remarks. Family, friends, and teachers were thanked, experiences recounted and students shared some humor.
The unusual end of the school year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also was referenced by some, including Mazey Perry. “Because of the skills I’ve developed during my three and 2/3 of a year at Community High School I am learning to be ok with uncertainty,” she said. “Community fosters an environment for self-growth and I am so grateful I have gotten to experience that.”
Samantha Ramser added, “Thank you for everyone who thought I was worth it, everyone who gave me their time and their love and helped me grow into a better person. Even though this feels to me a bit like the season finale of a show that went on one season too long while the writers ran out of ideas, the time that we had was so meaningful and I feel lucky that we are all still here to cross that finish line together.”
Community’s commencement ceremony also highlighted the performing arts talent at the school with seniors from the Community jazz program performing Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon,” poems from Grace Bates and Isabel Perry, and the Community Ensemble Theatre re-working the lyrics to a song from School of Rock the Musical with an introduction to the song from one of the actors from the original Broadway production of the show. The ceremony also included a surprise welcome and a performance of “Pomp and Circumstance” by Grammy winning bassist Victor Wooten.
Community High School Class of 2020 Awards were presented to:
•Community Resources Award – Sylvia Gabriel and Adarsh Tummala
•Jill Award – Robert Maglione
•Judith DeWoskin Writing Award – Etai Smotrich-Barr
•Dean Al Gallup Scholarship – Octavia Anderson
•Communicator Prize – Camryn Tirico
•Nathan Lyndell Hall Memorial Scholarship – Ruhi Khanna
•Bruce Bartman Memorial Scholarship – Ruhi Khanna
•ABM Services Scholarship – Thomas Duda Cortes
•Durham Transportation Services Scholarship – Ruhi Khanna and Samantha Major