The Class of 2020 In an Unsettled World, the Ventura County Class of 2020 is Ready to Lead

It’s safe to say there has never been a senior year quite like this one. In March, the coronavirus crisis abruptly forced students from their schools and into a strange new world of distance learning. Then at the end of May, the death of George Floyd and resulting protests threw important and difficult issues of racism and equity into the spotlight in a way most students have never experienced.

This is the time of year when graduating seniors are usually celebrating with friends, attending proms and receiving their hard-earned diplomas in front of crowds of beaming family and friends. Instead, they are participating in car caravans, watching virtual graduations and contemplating an unsettled world where our economy, our social fabric, even our basic health and safety seem far from secure.

Against this backdrop, I am proud to introduce you to some remarkable Ventura County graduates who aren’t letting the difficulties of our current moment extinguish their spirit or stop them from pursuing their dreams. Among them are students who have personally felt the sting of social inequity and found the inner strength to rise above.

The Class of 2020 has proven it is ready to meet the challenges we face as a community and as a nation. We hope their stories will reassure you that, whatever uncertainty lies ahead, this new generation of graduates is prepared to lead us into a bright future.

Conejo Valley Unified School District

Dr. Mark McLaughlin

Rice_Roger-crTo the Class of 2020…you did it! This is not the way we imagined we would celebrate your thirteen years of growth, hard work, and mastery of academic and extra-curricular interests. However, none of that takes away from the accomplishment you have achieved today…culmination. And how did we get here? TOGETHER. Together with the support of family, friends, teachers, administrators, coaches, community partners, and countless others. United, we celebrate you! 

Looking ahead, it will be with togetherness that you continue to make positive impacts at your post-secondary destinations. You have faced adversity time and time again, these last four years especially. It has made you strong and resilient. Yet, through it all, you have remained optimistic and dedicated to doing your best, while helping others along the way. I am relentlessly proud of you. Congratulations Class of 2020!


Fillmore Unified School District

Dr. Adrian Palazuelos

Rice_Roger-crA heartfelt congratulations to the graduating students of Fillmore High, Sierra High, and Heritage Valley Independent Study. The Fillmore Unified School District Board of Trustees and I are proud of your collective accomplishments as students in our district. We know that each of you is destined to make your impact in our world as you move forward from this time. The current circumstances do not in any way diminish the scholastic and athletic achievements you have accomplished over your last thirteen years. The Fillmore Unified School District community supports the Class of 2020 and wishes you continued success. Do great things!


Las Virgenes Unified School District

Dr. Dan Stepenosky

Rice_Roger-crTo our amazing seniors of the class of 2020: Know that you are appreciated, cherished, and celebrated.  Also know that these challenging times provide us with a wonderful opportunity to value the simple things. Time spent with family and friends, hugs, and sharing smiles. Hold tight to the importance of every day and the power of kindness.  


 

 

Moorpark Unified School District

Dr. Kelli Hays

Rice_Roger-crThere are no words to soften the reality of the COVID-19 situation. It saddens me greatly that this virus stole your senior year. You lost the events that define your senior year and you lost time with your friends. Despite these challenges, I have no doubt you will emerge stronger and more determined than ever to define your place in this world. We will still celebrate your graduation, one way or another, and will loudly cheer as you move your tassel from right to left. Each of you left a memorable mark on MUSD and we will be forever grateful!  

 

 

 


Oak Park Unified School District

Dr. Tony Knight

Rice_Roger-crTo all of the graduates of Ventura County – Congratulations! You are part of a unique class. Finishing your high school education via distance learning during a global pandemic – you will have a story to tell your children and grandchildren! I salute you and hope that we will all emerge from this crisis better people, committed to a  more sustainable, fair, and beautiful world.  


 

Oxnard Union High School District

Dr. Penelope DeLeon

Rice_Roger-crThe Oxnard Union High School District joins our entire community in celebrating you and your numerous accomplishments. Through these unprecedented times, you have demonstrated strength, positivity, resilience and an undeniable spirit of camaraderie and support for each other. I will not remember you as the “quarantine class,” but instead as the class who achieved the highest college application and going rate, the highest UC/CSU eligibility rate, the highest AP enrollment and pass rate, the highest scholarship and FAFSA rate, the class with multiple CIF and State athletic championships…and above all else, the class we will always regard as superlative. Good luck as you go on to achieve your powerful futures!


Santa Paula Unified School District

Dr. Ed Cora

Rice_Roger-crOn behalf of the Santa Paula Unified School District Board of Trustees and staff, we want each and every senior to know that we care deeply about your safety and health and miss you. This has been a rare year indeed. As actor Michael J. Fox once said, “I see possibilities in everything. For everything that is taken away, something of greater value is given.” Keep focused on the possibilities of your dreams and goals. The future is bright, because you are the future! We are proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!


 

 

Simi Valley Unified School District

Dr. Jason Peplinski

Rice_Roger-crClass of 2020: We wish you the best! We are very proud of your accomplishments and maturity during this disappointing time in your educational careers. We know that you are destined for great things!  Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ventura County Office of Education

Stan Mantooth

Rice_Roger-crThe end of the school year is upon us; and it’s not quite the same as any other we’ve experienced before. Like you, I want nothing more than to be gathering in person to celebrate our amazing students. But while we can’t fill our auditoriums with graduates, family and friends, we can take this opportunity to recognize our graduates for their hard work and wonderful achievements. 

Every year I’m impressed by the accomplishments of Ventura County’s graduating seniors, and 2020 is no exception. Some of you will be the first in your families to head to college, showing that the American Dream is alive and well, even in these difficult times. Some of you have distinguished yourselves with exceptional performance in academics, sports and the arts. And some of you have already made a positive difference in the world through community service. 

Because of current events, we all know that the future looks a bit cloudier than it did before. But the value of education and the importance of taking care of each other have never been clearer. To our parents, we thank you for trusting us with your precious children. And to our students, we congratulate you, we celebrate you and we wish you nothing but the best in your education and in life. Congratulations to the Class of 2020! 


Ventura Unified School District

Dr. Roger Rice

Rice_Roger-crCongratulations, Class of 2020! Thank you. Thank you for showing us what resiliency, tenacity, and grit truly mean. The Class of 2020 is the “Class that Made History” not because of fires and pandemics, but because you also persevered when life threw other obstacles your way and handled it with grace and dignity. You have grown into strong independent adults, and we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey. These last few months will not determine who you are, but instead will show the world that your generation is one that will tackle adversity head-on—together.

 

 

 

 

 


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