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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.
The University of Arizona's Centennial Hall was buzzing with excitement as more than 200 University High School students prepared for their graduation ceremony on Thursday. Friends and family were greeted by five students with welcoming words spoken in five different languages. Words were important at this UHS graduation. Lena Blackmon, recipient of the Leo Croteau Award for giving back to the community, was chosen to speak at the ceremony. She said she has looked at these words in her locker every day for the past four years: "Work hard and be nice to people." She said those words have served her well. As Lena said goodbye to her high school years, she said one of her favorite things to experience are sunsets, and she figured that's because things are always best when they are about to end. Lena will be attending Stanford University in the fall. Gustavo Andrade, a Gates Millennium Scholar headed to Duke, performed a song he wrote called "Wake up in the Clouds." The lyrics speak to hard work, perseverance and optimism, all characteristics necessary for these students to get where they are today. For these graduates, the high school experience is over. They had some important words of wisdom for the students who are following them, especially the incoming freshmen. From Sierra Frydenlund, who is heading to the University of Arizona this fall: "Do not procrastinate! Strive to do your best from the beginning, and don't be afraid to do new things." Draven Harris will be attending Pima Community College for his general education credits and then plans to attend the University of Arizona to study computer science and technical theater. He'll be relaxing in Hawaii for the summer visiting his grandparents. His advice for incoming UHS freshmen: "Listen to teachers. Do your best to keep on track. Don't think you can wait." Joseph Ortiz is heading to Arizona State University. His advice is to take advantage of the school's mentoring program. "The UHS