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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 atmosphere before graduation for the 2015 Badgers was festive as folklórico students and the steel drum band performed while families and friends filtered in to fill up Gridley Stadium. Many loved ones made signs and fat heads so their grads could see them from the field as the 677 graduates marched in to Pomp and Circumstance. Graduating Student Body President Neve Ortega told the crowd, "When I got here four years ago I knew four people and I'm not kidding." She choked up when she talked about graduating with her friends and leaving behind teachers who meant so much. Tucson Unified School District Board President Adelita Grijalva told the seniors, "I hope you don't see this as an end to your education. Open some doors and break open some others." She went on to tell them, "Do not limit your dreams, we are counting on you!" Students have been accepted into 100 different colleges and universities and been awarded more than $7.7 million dollars in scholarships and grants. This year there were two Valedictorians. The young women had been in a tight race all year long to be Valedictorian, and in the end they tied. Amy Lyn Pierce spoke first reminding everyone, "It's not our trophies that define us. We're not all competing in the same race." Samantha Nicole Macklin first delivered her Valedictorian address in Spanish followed by the English version. She told the crowd, "We are in a country where dreams come true and it's time to make them come true." Principal Karyle Green gave her Top 10 memories of her first year at THMS in honor of David Letterman's last show, including meeting seniors before school even started yet and the fall assembly. Dr. Green said assemblies were a thing of the past in her previous district and it was refreshing to see the students rally saying, "No one has assemblies like Tucson High!" When the last name was called, the tassels were turned and the caps were thrown in the air, hundreds of people flooded the fie