Mobile and Virtual Graduations Held

Photo by Robin GOLDSWORTHY
A newly-minted CV High School graduate proudly holds her diploma as her picture is taken by a Bronson Photography photographer.

Students, teachers, parents and school staff join forces to create lifetime memories for this year’s graduates.



June is traditionally the time for promotion ceremonies for those moving from eighth grade to high school and commencements for students graduating from high school. The time frame is the same but this year’s events are anything but traditional.

Since spring break in March, the students of Glendale Unified School District have been practicing some form of virtual learning in observance of the Safer-at-Home Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At first there was hope students would be back at school by mid-May then it was the end of May and then it would certainly be by the end of the 2019-20 academic year. But the school year ended on a virtual note.

It seemed each day brought new challenges and new questions from how to take SAT [Scholastic Aptitude Test] and AP [Advanced Placement] tests to how students were to clean out their lockers in a social distancing responsible way. During this time parents, students and school staff were imagining how they would have promotion and commencement ceremonies. From early on there was talk of car parades but Los Angeles County prohibited any type of vehicle parade, so that was out. It wasn’t until May 25 when Public Health announced they would allow them … with restrictions.

Crescenta Valley H.S.

Planning began in earnest throughout GUSD and on June 10 district high schools conducted their new mobile version of graduation. Crescenta Valley High School Principal Linda Junge had originally been talking to parents and students about a car parade prior to the County’s announcement; once the okay was given, plans were pulled together for her school’s graduates.

“The Friday that car parades and drive-through graduations were announced as allowable by LA County, I already knew that [a] critical mass of parents and students wanted this,” Junge said of when she and her staff began planning the parade. “Increasingly, over the weeks of quarantine, the tide of public opinion was clearly shifting. While a survey of the senior class in early April voiced a clear preference for a traditional in-person graduation it became increasingly clear that gathering 6,000 people in one space was not going to be possible for some time. Emails and calls continued to come in with greater numbers pleading for a celebration and for [distribution of] diplomas. This also came up repeatedly with parent and student leaders. Having less than two weeks to make it happen, I pulled plans together based on what surrounding school districts had done and based on specific asks in the many emails sent to me by parents and students in the proceeding weeks.”

The CVHS plan was brought together by several partnering organizations that provided feedback and refinement including the PTSA executive board, the Associated Student Body advisor, GUSD leaders, LA Sheriff’s Dept., Glendale police, the City of Glendale, CV Town Council and many other leaders including those from multiple chambers of commerce.

For Clark Magnet High School staff, it was a lot of work to pull something meaningful together in a short amount of time.

“The District gave us the ‘green light’ early last week and we have been rapidly deploying our team to make sure this is a memorable and classy event for our seniors,” said Assistant Principal Brian Landisi.

Rosemont Middle School

The schools are not only having a car parade but a virtual graduation as well.

“Our whole staff has been involved. We are particularly grateful to our clerical staff, custodians, counselors and Activities Director Shari Scott-Sawyer,” Landisi added.

There are 244 graduating seniors in the Class of 2020 at Clark Magnet High School. The seniors have performed 23,000 service hours. This year’s valedictorian is Edgar Sahakian.

There are 629 graduating seniors in the Class of 2020 at CVHS. The seniors have received over $1.3 million in scholarships and awards and, as of late April, have performed over 23,000 community service hours. That number is expected to change as the community service hours have yet to be updated.

Glendale High School valedictorian is David Chibukhchyan. He had a GPA of 4.48 and is attending UCLA in the fall.

“Congratulations to the Class of 2020. This class helped Glendale High School become a top Newsweek High School three years in a row, is sending more graduates than ever to prestigious universities and tackled tough issues like the Me Too movement and school violence,” said GHS Principal Benjamin Wolf. “I’m very proud of their achievements.”

When asked to share their perspective of the Class of 2020, Junge said, “I believe that Class of 2020 is resilient and uniquely positioned to contribute to our world in meaningful ways. They have experienced much already in their lives. They were born in the shadow of 9/11, and have experienced multiple wars and dramatic downturns in the economy, as well as locally losing their traditional homecoming last year, and now the pandemic and civil unrest related to outrage over George Floyd’s death. I have seen that these students are intelligent, articulate, compassionate, cause-oriented and believe they will be agents for positive change and progress in our community, our nation and the world.”

“Our seniors have persevered. This year has been filled with ups and downs, new memories, new events and many changes. Each senior will leave with a Clark Panthers alumni shirt to sport as they go out into the community and on to their next adventure,” Landis said. “All of the accolades we have received this year – U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools, Niche #2 High School in Los Angeles, California Green Achiever, U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, Newsweek Top STEM High School – are a testament to their hard work and efforts. We are proud of these remarkable students and excited to see what they do next.”

Rosemont Middle School did not have a traditional promotion either. Instead, certificates were presented on Tuesday to students driven to the school by their parents. Entering from Los Olivos, they continued on the road following the cheers of teachers and staff. Driving onto the upper field, their certificates were given to them and then they made their way to the exit onto Raymond Avenue. Principal Scott Anderle felt that putting certificates, pins, awards and plaques in the mail for students may be problematic and he didn’t want anything to get delivered to the wrong address or be damaged.

Anderle said that many parents wanted their children to get out of their cars to pick up the certificates and promotion items.

“We have gone to great lengths so far to keep everyone healthy. We want to continue that with the certificate hand-out, maintaining maximum social distancing,” he said. “The Rosemont staff has spent a lot of time working on the virtual [promotion], which went live to the public on Wednesday.”

When asked to share his thoughts of the eighth grade 2020 class Anderle said, “If there is one word that I would use to describe Rosemont’s Class of 2020 it would be resilient. The Rosemont students have risen to every challenge that has been presented to them this year, and this resilience will serve the students well as they move into high school and beyond.”

To view the virtual graduations for CVHS, Clark Magnet High School, Glendale High School, Hoover High School and Daily High School, visit