The stars come out at night, and there was no exception Wednesday evening at Dos Pueblos High School.
The Class of 2020 was able to convene for what may be the final time, rekindling friendships and exchanging pleasantries as they celebrated their high school commencement. While the now former students were ecstatic to join together once again, they received words of wisdom from some pretty famous alumni.
As Principal Bill Woodard finished up his remarks, Katy Perry’s hit song “Firework” blared through the speakers for the nearly 450 graduates and their families. Ms. Perry, who attended DP for one semester as a freshman, offered remarks to the graduates. In between student speeches, current Chicago White Sox catcher James McCann also shared sentiments before music star Jack Johnson greeted the class.
The parking lot at the high school was practically at capacity, with some vehicles spilling over to the teachers’ lot, as the class convened for a parade around campus prior to the ceremony. Hundreds of vehicles lined Alameda Avenue up to an hour before the parade, as the friends and families of the Class of 2020 anxiously awaited the chance to cap off an accomplishment that’s been years in the making.
After driving through campus, many students exited their vehicles to say hello or pose for pictures. A large majority of the drivers let their car horns provide their feelings of congratulations to the seniors.
Most vehicles were decorated with balloons strewn across the hood or a sentimental message written on the rear windows. Several graduates sat atop the roof of their car through the sunroof to take in the well wishes.
One window message read, “I’m like 2020% done!!!” Another van window illustration honored the Class of 2020, replacing the zeros with rolls of toilet paper.
While many occupants resorted to applause or were equipped with noisemakers, one family member got creative, using a pot and spoon to make some noise.
“This is honestly a lot better than I think the regular graduation would have been because this parade thing is so cool,” Isaac Hernandez told the News-Press shortly after the parade wrapped up. “Just seeing everyone waving and just cheering me on, it just made me feel good inside. I feel like this school actually cares about us and they decided to do this for us. I think that’s really cool.”
Barbara Gonzalez, a member of the DP soccer team, was draped in a flag of Mexico and wearing a sombrero rather than the traditional cap.
“This is where I came from, and I’m going to support my country,” she said, sitting atop a pickup truck awaiting the ceremony to begin.
“It’s pretty special. The fact that they could pull something like this off in such a short amount of time. It means a lot,” added Nate Feldhouse.
The graduates were then given the chance to walk across the stage, pose for pictures and receive their diplomas before the ceremony came to a close.