Clovis East Class of 2021 closes out high school careers together

The Clovis Unified School District celebrated its first graduating class of 2021 on Wednesday night.
CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Clovis Unified School District celebrated its first graduating class of 2021 on Wednesday night.

Hundreds of Clovis East seniors received their diplomas in person-while their loved ones cheered them on from the stands.

By the end of the ceremony, all 594 classmates became graduates.

It's the first time the Class of 2021 was reunited since the pandemic shut down in-person learning, making the moment that much more special.

"It's big. It is a blessing, it is something we have been desiring for a long time. We didn't know if it was going to happen," said parent Tamika Braxton.

Many parents didn't think their children would get a traditional graduation.

Last year the pandemic forced the school district to take a different approach to the ceremony, where seniors were celebrated individually.

Fortunately, the Class of 2021 was able to celebrate as a whole but with safety measures in place.

"There is distance between the chairs, the students will be wearing face coverings. Those in the stands will be separated by households," said Kelly Avants, spokesperson for Clovis Unified.

Deone Braxton, son Deone Braxton Jr., played on the Clovis East football team.

The Braxtons have highly anticipated Deone getting his diploma.

The excitement reached its peak when he tried on his cap and gown.

"It has been a long four years, and he did it, and that is what I'm happy about," Deone's father said.

Idalia Hinojosa was filled with pride when she talked about her niece Jezabeth Najera.

Najera's entire family got matching shirts for the occasion.

"I am very proud of her. Everybody is proud of her, not only her, but her classmates," Hinojosa said.

Simrat Caur said she's is inspired by her brother, Dilraj Singh's accomplishments.

Singh is the class valedictorian and getting a full-ride scholarship to UCLA.

"I'm really proud of him, and I really want to be like him," Caur said.

Clovis Unified will have four more high school graduations by the end of this week.

By the end more than 3,000 students will get their diploma. Those who can't attend can live stream the ceremony on the district's website.

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