Commencing the next stage

For students graduating from local high schools, it’s really a new beginning. In the Garden Grove Unified School District, all eight high schools held commencement exercises to mark a turning point in the lives of thousand of teenagers on the cusp of adulthood.

The Class of 2023 is unique in many respects. The COVID-19 pandemic put them through an ordeal not experienced since the flu epidemic of a century ago. Zoom classes, Plexiglass germ barriers and cancelled events, That, however, has given way to a more “normal” high school life.

Above, a La Quinta High student waves to family members, but could just as well be waving goodbye to the ever-influential high school years.

Teachers were a big part of that influence; at right La Quinta choral director Darlene Machacon leads the Aztec choir in song.

Not every grad is headed toward college or career. Some, like this Garden Grove High student (below, right) is going from the classroom into the United States Army.

Whatever their path, the families, friends and community wish them well, and can’t wait to see what kind of mark they’ll make in the future.

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