With live-graduation ceremony postponed until August, Class of 2020 will have YouTube virtual one instead May 28


All wearing face masks as part of state COVID-19-related guidelines, social science teacher and co-ASB adviser David Fenstermaker (left), dance instructor Leiana Volen and yearbook adviser Lindsay Safe greet seniors as their cars come by the Sunny Hills parking lot as part of the May 8 drive-through event to pick up cap and gowns and Class of 2020 graduation yard signs. Fenstermaker handed out the yard signs. Video screen shot taken by Accolade photo editor Megan Shin.

Rida Zar, Opinion Editor

In hopes of providing the Class of 2020 with a proper send off, school officials will host a virtual graduation ceremony for seniors and their family on YouTube May 28.

“As with everything we do, our virtual graduation will be the best it can possibly be,” principal Allen Whitten said.

A link to the 3-4:30 p.m. event will be sent to all seniors and their parents via email. Access to the link will also be available on the school website on May 28 before the ceremony is streamed.

As with past live commencement ceremonies at Fullerton Union High School stadium, the audience will have a chance to hear speeches from a select number of valedictorians. No other information was given as to who will be reading out the names of each graduate and the order of events during the streamed broadcast.

Earlier this month on May 8, seniors had picked up their prepaid Jostens cap and gown at the on-campus, drive-through event that school officials organized, and it will be up to each graduate to decide whether to wear their graduation attire during the YouTube ceremony. Like with several other schools throughout Southern California, 12th-graders had also picked up Class of 2020 graduate yard signs.

“I like the idea of being able to display the graduation sign, and I am very thankful that the school was able to do this for us.” said senior Taylor Michel, who plans on watching the virtual graduation with her family.

Michel said she also will fulfill the senior class tradition of moving her cap tassel from right to left when the virtual ceremony is over. While she is not sure if she will toss her cap up into the air — another popular post-graduation tradition — she plans on doing so for her photos after. 

Senior Marlena Martinez also found the May 8 drive-through event memorable, even though students and parents had to remain in their vehicles at all times.

“The pick-up was great; it wasn’t crowded, and the teachers were holding signs and congratulating us,” said Martinez, who also plans on streaming the virtual ceremony with her relatives. “It was so fun to see them.”

The Fullerton Joint Union High School District had sent out a survey asking seniors if they would like a live graduation ceremony to be held in the fall if the state were to lift social distancing and quarantine orders. Based on the results of that poll, the district has tentatively decided to organize one for Sunny Hills at 7 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the Buena Park High School football stadium.

That’s an event that Whitten is still holding out hope for although because of the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing is guaranteed at this time, he said. 

Despite this, students still appreciate the thought.

“I really like the idea [of an in-person graduation], and I’m hoping for the best so that we seniors can experience a proper graduation ceremony,” said senior Kristen Del Mundo, who would keep that date open before she starts her first year at Cypress College at the end of August.