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Mother and son at graduation

More than 700 seniors from AUSD’s four high schools crossed graduation stages this week and are now off to the next stages of their college and career journeys.


More than 700 seniors from AUSD’s four high schools crossed graduation stages this week in an annual rite of passage that drew laughter, tears, shouts, and cheers from all in attendance.

Principals from Alameda High School, Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School, ASTI, and Island High School spoke of the tremendous challenge posed by COVID-19  over the last 2.5 years - including remote learning, hybrid learning, and instructional and social time lost to illness. But they also praised the students’ persistence, resilience, and flexibility and reminded them of the importance of finding themselves, expressing themselves, taking care of themselves, and using their talents and visions to help others.

Student leaders spoke of the many challenges facing our country and world at this time - including climate change, war, gun violence, domestic terrorism, racism, and mental health issues - and exhorted their peers to resist complacency, stay connected to each other, and rely on their community as they find their way in a troubled world. They also expressed heartfelt gratitude to their families, friends, teachers, and coaches.

In his remarks to the graduates, Superintendent Scuderi emphasized the importance of dreaming big and not being limited by the limited perspective of others. “As James Baldwin once wrote, Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it,’” the superintendent said.

This year's seniors are headed off to a wide range of colleges and universities, including UCs, CSUs, and community colleges; public universities in other states (including the Universities of Washington, Alabama, Oregon, Western Oregon, Hawaii, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin); and private colleges (including Champlain College, Carleton College, Harvard University, Pepperdine University, American University, Brandeis University, Colgate University, Pratt Institute, Rutgers University, and Xavier University of Louisiana). One student is heading off to the US Military Academy at West Point; another has enrolledin the US Coast Guard Academy.

Several students are moving out of the country to pursue higher education (including at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dundee, and University of Victoria). Still others are enrolling at trade and other specialty schools, such as Paris Beauty School, CO Center for the Blind, American Musical & Dramatic Academy (LA), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Culinary Institute of America.

We’re pulling together a slide show of photos from the high school graduations (as well as our middle school promotions) and will have it ready to share next week!