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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.
On a breezy Thursday night, more than 300 Sahuaro High School seniors and their families and friends gathered to watch the graduates receive their diplomas, turn their tassels and step into the next chapter of their lives. One senior was missing from the football stadium but not from the ceremony and not from the hearts of the Sahuaro Cougar family. Sarah Koenig received her diploma a couple of hours earlier at University Medical Center, where she is getting treatment for cancer. She wore her cap and gown, and students, teachers and Sahuaro administrators cheered and she processed to Pomp and Circumstance. On her mortar, the bedazzled words: "I'm a Fighter." Sarah was at the school ceremony as well, via Facetime. She was able to share a few words with her classmates, though she had to wait a minute because they were all chanting, "Sarah, Sarah, Sarah." "I wanted to say congratulations to you all," Sarah said. "I wish I could be with you tonight. Be safe and have fun." Applause thundered after Sarah's remarks. In fact, the crowd was louder than when multiple other speakers mentioned the fact that Sahuaro beat Sabino in football this year. And that was pretty thunderous applause. Principal Bobby Estrella told the graduates that they will now begin addressing a timeless question, "Who will I be when I grow up?" "I hope you will spend your lifetime answering this question," he said. "It is not defined by what you do for a living. It speaks to your character." He said there is only one thing he can predict about the future: "That it will not go as planned." He told the graduates that how they handle the unexpected will help define them. "Be bold," he said. The evening ended with fireworks streaming into the sky, Silly String spraying through the air, friends hugging, parents crying and a couple hundred new graduates leaving their high school for their next adventures. Some are off to college. Andie Larkins will be playing softball at Seattle