Nipomo High School graduated 209 seniors Friday, sending at least 60% of the students on to higher education from a class unique for including seven co-valedictorians but no salutatorian.
Because of social distancing orders to halt the spread of COVID-19, graduates received their diplomas and a gift, and had their photographs taken in a complex hybrid drive-through, walk-through ceremony that involved five checkpoints.
But the process allowed graduates to participate in one of the traditional rituals of commencement — walking across the stage to receive their diplomas — even though it was not open to the public.
“Despite the limitations during these unprecedented times, we are excited to retain our traditional date, time and program while also fulfilling our seniors’ most frequent requests of walking across the stage, capturing the moment of receiving their diploma, and being together one last time, albeit distanced in separate vehicles,” said Amy Jacobs, spokeswoman for Lucia Mar Unified School District.
Friends and family, limited to one vehicle per graduate, had to watch the ceremony via live streaming on YouTube or listen to it via an on-campus FM radio broadcast.
The co-valedictorians, each earning a GPA of 4.4 or higher, were Eric Ahler, Elena Crist, Saige Gardner, Hunter Long, Vianie Merino, Dannon Sanders and Claire Wellenkamp.
Jacobs said 48 of the graduates are moving on to four-year colleges and universities, while 51 will attend Hancock College in Santa Maria and 28 will attend Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.
Six plan to attend a trade school, four will go straight into the workforce and eight are joining the military — four into the Army, three into the Navy and one into the Air Force, Jacobs said.
Twenty-five of the graduates were awarded scholarships totaling $80,000.
“The Class of 2020 is equipped for career, educated for college and empowered for community like no previous class,” NHS Principal John Denno said. “Their perseverance and sacrifice during this spring semester has influenced them in a manner that extends far beyond our school, into our community, region, state, nation and world.
“Our community has an unwavering belief in these graduates, knowing they will commit to making a difference and continue to grow individually while working cooperatively as citizens and neighbors,” Denno said. “We look forward to seeing where they take their Titan Pride.”
060520 Nipomo graduation 01.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 02.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 03.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 04.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 05.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 06.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 07.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 08.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 09.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 10.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 11.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 12.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 13.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 14.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 15.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 16.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 17.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 18.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 19.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 20.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 21.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 22.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 23.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 24.jpg
060520 Nipomo graduation 25.jpg
In this Series
- 23 updates
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!