San Clemente High grads celebrate commencement in stadium ceremony

By Elysse James

San Clemente High School’s graduates turned their tassels and tossed their hats on Thursday to celebrate the end of their high school years and the beginning of the next chapter of their lives.

“This year started off very difficult and it looked ominous for our seniors, but as time went on we were able to bring them back, doors opened up, and opportunities came our way,” Principal Chris Carter said. “I couldn’t be more elated to celebrate them and send them off honoring the traditions we’ve had for many years.”

Over the course of the year, students had to adapt in many ways; first, by learning how to access online curriculum for virtual schooling in early fall, and then by learning how to balance being both online and in person as schools allowed students back onto campus and eventually back into athletics and cocurricular activities following the winter break.

“Our students are very resourceful and adaptable and they were able to quickly learn and manage the systems we had in place for them,” Carter said.

As pandemic restrictions eased, students were able to again play sports, perform in a play held outdoors, and perform in an indoor choir concert while wearing masks.

“Those are difficult things to overcome,” Carter said, noting that the school built a massive stage to perform “Les Miserables” outdoors. “It was probably one of the best plays we’ve ever put on and one of the best venues we’ve been able to enjoy. I think anybody who went to the production and those in it were happy with the outcome. It was extraordinary.”

Though many students were playing multipole sports squeezed into a short and unusual season, the school’s athletes earned 11 League titles, Carter said.

Leading up to graduation day, students participated in a celebratory barbecue, brunch, prom, and more. The school’s prom was held outdoors and featured a Ferris wheel, karaoke, line dancing, and food.

“This year, our graduates had to forgo so many milestones,” Carter said, adding that he is the parent of a graduate this year. “We know coming together as a Triton family we were able to endure and adapt, which will definitely set our students, our graduates, up for a successful future for whatever this world throws at them.”

“As a school, we’re excited to celebrate in person in Thalassa stadium our 57th graduation in a very traditional fashion, and able to send our students off into their future with pomp and circumstance.”

See photos from the graduation ceremony below. Congratulations, San Clemente High School Class of 2021!

Davis Vaughn sings “Rise” during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Davis Vaughn sings “Rise” during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Family members gathers for the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
The SCHS Madrigals.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Vocal Arts Director Caitlen Daniel leads the SCHS Madrigals during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Music Director Antonio Soto conducts the SCHS Principal’s Honor Orchestra as graduates walk in.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
The SCHS Principal’s Honor Orchestra plays at the start of the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students enter the stadium at the start of the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students enter the stadium at the start of the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students enter the stadium at the start of the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Thomas Gerardo gives the commencement address during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Principal Chris Carter during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Alika Ting gives the farewell address during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony. Jillian Greene (not in photo) gave the speech for the 1:45pm ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Alika Ting gives the farewell address during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students receive their diplomas during the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Graduates move the tassel from right to left at the conclusion of the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Students throw their caps in the air at the conclusion of the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider
Graduates celebrate at the conclusion of the San Clemente High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider

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