You can watch Community’s entire commencement ceremony here.
Story, photos and video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News
The 49th commencement of Community High School featured each of the 125 graduates taking the mic to say a few words of thanks, and a musical presentation that had many in the crowd dancing on the AstroTurf.
Dean Marci Tuzinsky told the graduates to pause, look around at the crowd of family and friends illuminated by the setting sun over Pioneer High School’s Hollway Field, and take it all in.
“Relish the moment,” she said.
She thanked the students for coming to Community and sharing their talent, personalities, and caring nature.
“I’ve enjoyed watching you grow into the amazing human beings you’ve become,” she said. “And I’ve enjoyed growing and learning along with you.”
Noting that the celebration is one of the district’s first large gatherings in more than 15 months, Superintendent Jeanice Swift said she couldn’t think of a more important reason to join together than to honor of the Class of 2021.
“We are here with exactly one focus and that is to publicly honor and celebrate you on this historic graduation day 2021,” Swift said. “In celebrating each of you this evening, I want you to know that we’re here to honor your individual stories, the many challenges you have overcome as you graduate amidst an historic global COVID pandemic.”
As is the Community tradition, graduates took to the stage with their forum groups, and the forum leader passed the mic from student to student. Many thanked parents and teachers for their support, insisting they wouldn’t be where they are today without them. Others summed up memories of their years at the district’s alternative high school, to laughter and cheers from classmates in the crowd.
A highlight of the evening was the musical entertainment portion of the program—a Community tradition that was necessarily on hiatus last year as the district held drive-through commencements during COVID.
With Jazz Director Jack Wagner on sax, singers and musicians performed a rousing rendition of “Can’t Stop the Feeling” as grads and staff got on their feet.