Carondelet Class of 2021 first to graduate at Concord Pavilion since pandemic

Carondelet Class of 2021 first to graduate at Concord Pavilion since pandemic

Carondelet Class of 2021 first to graduate at Concord Pavilion since pandemic
Carondelet High School held its commencement ceremony Saturday. (Photos courtesy Carondelet High School)

CONCORD, CA, (May. 22, 2021)—Carondelet High School honored the Class of 2021 with a full, in-person commencement ceremony at the Concord Pavilion Saturday.

This was the first of 12 high school graduation ceremonies at the Pavilion between today and June 3. Three schools, Clayton Valley Charter, Northgate and College Park, will have afternoon and evening ceremonies in order to allow more guests per student.

The Pavilion has not had any commencement ceremonies since the end of the 2019 season that fall. Graduations for Mt. Diablo Unified School District high schools were first held in 1976 during the second season the Pavilion was open.

Carondelet had 180 graduates at Saturday’s ceremony.

Graduates and their families followed social distancing rules at the event. Carondelet High School broke tradition by choosing the Concord Pavilion as their graduation locale. In the past, the all girls prep school always held their graduation ceremony on their main campus in Concord.

Principal Kevin Cushing said, “We are so excited to be able to acknowledge and celebrate our remarkable Class of 2021. From the moment we were able to bring our Seniors back on campus they have provided joy and laughter and so much positive energy. Being able to provide their graduation ceremony in such an amazing setting that allows us to include more family members in their celebration—is a gift to all of us.”

Strong bonds

Before the event, Carondelet’s Valedictorian Lauren Rivera shared her thoughts.

She said that COVID might have played a role in forging the strong bonds within her class— “Just knowing we’re all in this together,” she said. “It makes the moments we do get to see one another that much more special… COVID didn’t hold us back.” Reflecting on the fast approaching graduation day, she got misty eyed: “This is gonna be our last time as a class, so it’s going to be bittersweet.”

“The Class of 2021 has demonstrated remarkable resilience as they’ve endured consistent, unanticipated changes to their high school experience in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Annette Eros ‘85, President at Carondelet High School. “At Carondelet we teach our students to demonstrate heart, faith, courage, and excellence throughout their journey. This group of students in particular could probably teach us all a few lessons. They have a united spirit. We are thrilled to be hosting an in-person graduation, which will be extra special for our graduates, families, and teachers. We are so proud to see each graduate receive their diploma and what the future holds for them.”

Related story: High school graduations returning to Concord Pavilion