CONCORD, CA — In the next two weeks local 12th grade students from the Class of 2021 will receive a diploma for completing their high school requirements and look towards college, the military, trade school, a gap year or getting a job as they begin the next phase of their life.
These 2428 seniors endured two years of unprecedented upheaval to conclude their high school experience. Not only did they have “reading, writing and arithmetic” but they learned about Zoom, distance learning, face masks and pandemic. Athletes had seasons shortened or canceled while young musicians and actors were denied the opportunity to perform. Proms, plays and picnics were something their parents and older siblings did in high school.
After having creative drive-through and walk-through 2020 commencement ceremonies most local schools will have their graduates receive diplomas at the Concord Pavilion, which began hosting graduations in 1976 before the one-year pandemic interruption. Three schools will have two commencement exercises due to distance seating capacity requirements at the Pavilion.
Local high school graduation details
Carondelet 183 young women graduate May 22 at the Pavilion, the first time the Concord all-girls school has held its commencement ceremony off campus.
Clayton Valley Charter The area’s largest graduating class—approximately 500—is having 3 and 7 p.m. commencement exercises on June 3.
Concord 290 seniors walk for their diplomas at the Pavilion May 29.
Contra Costa School of Performing Arts The public charter school’s third graduating class of 24 will celebrate June 2 on campus after their eighth-grade schoolmates have their promotion ceremony.
De La Salle The Concord all-boys parochial school has 258 graduates set for its ceremony at Owen Owens Field on campus May 23.
Mt. Diablo The area’s oldest high school has 288 graduating seniors on the evening of May 28.
Northgate 355 seniors receive diplomas at two Pavilion ceremonies May 30.
Olympic has 125 graduates from its Class of 2021 receiving diplomas the afternoon of May 28.
Ygnacio Valley awards 255 grads on May 27.
The other Mt. Diablo Unified School District high school, College Park in Pleasant Hill, has the district’s largest senior class of 475 (not included in the local graduates total) and they have two Pavilion ceremonies June 2.
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.