By Conrad Dudderar
Some 557 Yukon High School seniors are due to receive their diplomas next week during an outdoor commencement.
The YHS Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony will be 7 p.m. Friday, May 21 at Miller Stadium on the YHS campus, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
This marks the second straight year the annual event will be outside on the football field.
Graduation for the YHS Class of 2020, held last July, was revised due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Our feedback last year from the students was very, very positive,” YHS Principal Melissa Barlow said.
In previous years, the YHS commencement had been at the State Fair Park Arena in Oklahoma City followed by the overnight Yukon Project Graduation at Redlands Community College.
Again in 2021, the YHS Graduation Ceremony will be outside in Yukon and a scaled-back Project Graduation celebration will follow graduation rehearsal the night before (Thursday, May 20) at Miller Stadium.
“The kids are really excited to be able to have this special ceremony on our campus,” Barlow added. “The football field holds memories for so many groups – the band, football, track, and soccer, and the student section at those games.
“It’s really important for our kids to sit on that field, which is their home, and be able to have their graduation ceremony. It went over so well last year, and we’re really excited this year.”
‘BEST’ SENIOR YEAR POSSIBLE
Speaking at the May 21st YHS graduation ceremony will be Class President Cade Pope, Student Council President Rebecca George and Class Valedictorian Arysa Puckett.
Other senior class officers are Vice President Adrian Charquero, Treasurer Wendy Pina and Secretary Camdyn Terry.
The YHS Class of 2021 has 14 valedictorians, and they selected Arysa to speak on their behalf at graduation.
Rebecca also is a valedictorian, along with these seniors: Jeffrey Armstrong, Joclynn Bristow, Greyson Horst, David Lu, Quynh Nguyen, Cassandra Penick, Jerry Richardson, Kathrine Saxton, Lana Sherry, Ella Stanley, Bailee Thompson, and Kaylee Witte.
With this talented leadership and many high-achieving members, Barlow said the Class of 2021 has made their senior year “the best year possible.”
“They’re going to be successful leaving here because they have that ability to be innovative thinkers,” the YHS principal said. “Even though the world has dealt them a tough blow for their senior year, they’re going to be better for it as they move into the workforce.”
Friday night’s graduation ceremony will feature the YHS seniors walking onto the field to take their seats.
“This year, we’ll get back to doing the processional,” Barlow said. “We’re actually formalizing (the program) a little more and getting it back to more of a traditional ceremony.”
Each member of the YHS Class of 2021 receives eight tickets for family and friends to attend graduation.
“That is more than we had last year, so we’re able to increase the attendance number with our different (COVID) restrictions being lifted,” Barlow explained.