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Congratulations to Tucson Unified's Class of 2015
More than 2,800 members of Tucson Unified School District's Class of 2015 graduated this week in ceremonies at campuses all over the city. For those outside, a strong breeze meant holding onto caps tightly as they threatened to fly away—much like many balloons that went skyward Thursday night.
Members of the Class of 2015 are venturing out all over the nation for college, careers and military service. In all, these graduates were offered $87,259,653 in grants and scholarships.
While they may all be going in different directions, they will always have something in common: A high school diploma.
Dr. H.T. Sánchez, superintendent of Tucson Unified School District, told the crowd at Pueblo Magnet High School something that applies to all graduates.
"The great equalizer, the one thing that can't be taken away from you is your education. As long as you have your education you have your dignity," he said. "And when you have your education and your dignity there is nothing you can't accomplish."
The Tucson Unified Communications Team was present at all of the graduation ceremonies. We will be bringing you stories from each ceremony in the coming days. Here are a few to get us started.
About 240 Sabino High School seniors marched through the jaws of a giant sabercat inflatable at twilight with the purple Santa Catalina Mountains behind them on Thursday night. The commencement exercise started with a procession and music by the Symphonic Band. The bleachers were full of families and friends equipped with fatheads, balloons, signs and candy leis. These graduating seniors earned $6,388,061 in scholarships and grants, and will attend more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide. Senior Natalie Renee Delfs welcomed everyone and said, “There’s no limit to what you can achieve if you’re willing to work for it.” Class speaker Gregory Paul Rencken told his peers, "Let's appreciate our friends. We have time to figure ourselves out. Please don't panic. Do what you love." Many graduates said they were attending Pima Community College or the University of Arizona. The family of Cody Thevergen waved purple and gold balloons from the bleachers. Cody is attending UA on a scholarship and will study engineering. Class speaker and football player Marcus Edwards talked about his journey senior year. "These teachers worked vigorously to help me reach my dreams. They have made the first 18 years of my life outstanding. The future we make is up to us. When I tore my ACL, the college football recruiters dropped me. I worked hard and have been accepted into the Naval Academy." Sabino valedictorian Allison Edwards made an analogy between the many uses of a potato and the choices graduates will face in the next few years. She held up a potato to the amusement of her classmates. TUSD Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Adrian Vega talked to Sabino graduates about being prepared for transitions. "There are transitions in all of life,” he said, “in families, in jobs, in your future. You have been prepared to make transitions by one of the top high schools in the nation." Dr. Vega and TUSD governing board member Kristel Foster handed out