Graduations end unique high school journey for Class of 2023

Graduations end unique high school journey for Class of 2023
Horizons Center for Independent Study and Prospect Continuation High School Class of 2023 graduates.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (June 13, 2023) — Over the past few weeks over 2950 local students from the Class of 2023 collected a diploma for completing their high school requirements but it was not a “typical” journey for this group that entered high school in the fall of 2019 never imagining what the next two years would bring them.

The Class of 2023 got quite a jolt when the latter half of their freshman year was interrupted in March by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to over a year of remote learning for most students and may have had a lasting impact on their educational journey.

As they now look towards college, the military, trade school, a gap year or getting a job while they begin the next phase of their life, there are memories of the good times and the challenges they faced over the past four years.

Jackie Tamayo excitedly moved across the street from El Dorado Middle School to Concord High “expecting nothing but the best” from her new high school experience. “Once COVID-19 hit it was a turning point for all of us,” she told The Pioneer soon after her graduation.
“All the events, sports, activities shut down. I’m in the marching band and we planned a trip to Orlando, Florida that was canceled due to the pandemic.”


Concord High students speakers included Lizeth De La Cruz, Abhiram Mokkapati, Tung (Tommy) Nguyen, and Lucy Goetz. (Photos courtesy Concord High School)

Tamayo knows many classmates who failed classes and got unforeseen illnesses while being cooped up at home with remote learning. Her sophomore year was also spent nearly entirely learning remotely.

In the past two years as a member of the band she finally made two “amazing” trips to perform on Main Street in Disneyland. She also resumed her soccer career at school and for her Diablo Valley Wolves club team.

Even that experience had a low point when she tore her ACL and MCL last November right at the start of her senior season. “I forced my physical therapy grind in order to get back for Senior Night with my teammates,” Tamayo says. Thankfully, her club soccer experience landed her a Division I scholarship to Chicago State university where she starts July 26.

The four-year class president at Concord so enjoyed playing clarinet with the school bands and getting on the soccer field her last two years.

Clayton Valley Charter High

Clayton Valley High class of 2023 on their way to the Concord Pavilion graduation ceremony. (Photo courtesy CVCHS)

For Sam Robinow, coming from Saint Francis School in Concord to Clayton Valley Charter he looked forward to making new friends as few of his eighth-grade classmates were at the charter school.

“COVID for me disconnected me from the other students. At least I had three siblings at home studying too.”

His sophomore year eventually entailed a hybrid schedule with him at school wearing a mask on Thursday and Fridays. “We went to class, did our homework and went home.” He played basketball his first two years but “did not find my friend group” until he was a junior. “I finally started interacting with my classmates. Senior year was the best with all the senior activities.”

He is going to Diablo Valley College this fall to start a pathway towards a nursing career.


Crossroads High graduates, Class of 2023.

High School Graduates by school

Carondelet 191 young women graduated at the end of May at the Concord Pavilion.

Clayton Valley Charter The area’s largest graduating class—545—comes from CVCHS, which reported a 98% graduation rate for its senior class at the public charter high school.

College Park had the largest senior class in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District with 435.

Concord 285 CHS seniors walked for their diplomas at the Concord Pavilion.


Ygnacio Valley High School graduates made personal fashion statements to go with their traditional cap and gown in the Class of 2023 ceremony at the Concord Pavilion.

Contra Costa School of Performing Arts The public charter school’s graduating class was 28.

De La Salle The Concord all-boys parochial school had 247 graduates walk at its campus ceremony on Owen Owens Field.

MDUSD Bridge Program is for individuals aged 18-22 years with disabilities who have finished high school. The program supports the 27 student grads’ transition to adult living.

MDUSD Adult Education honored its 27 high school grads.

Mt. Diablo New principal Dr. Markell McCain reports the area’s oldest high school had 325 graduating seniors.


Northgate High graduation ceremony at the Concord Pavilion made Athena Zapantis smile. (Photos courtesy Northgate High School)


Northgate 361 seniors earned their NHS diplomas.

Small Continuation High Schools in MDUSD had a total of 116 graduates from Crossroads, Glenbrook, Horizon and Prospect high schools.
Olympic had 124 graduates in its Class of 2023.

Ygnacio Valley awarded diplomas to 242 YVHS graduates.

Carondelet High School

A quintet of Carondelet High School seniors celebrate their graduation with the Class of 2023 at the Concord Pavilion as they complete their four years at the all-girls Catholic school in Concord. (Photo courtesy Carondelet High School)

De La Salle High School

De La Salle High Class of 2023. (Photos courtesy DLSHS)

Mt. Diablo High School

College Park High School