Class of 2021 celebrates graduation after more than a year of distance learning

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — After a year of difficulty and distance, high schools across the Clark County School District held special in-person graduation ceremonies Wednesday, as they prepare to send students off into the world.

“We are not the forgotten class,” Advanced Technologies Academy Student Body President Roiva Karagdhe said. “It’s not what we imagined senior year to look like, but we made the best out of it.”

With pomp and circumstance and a whole lot of pride, the Class of 2021 took the stage to graduate at the Thomas and Mack Center.

Any ceremony is special, but this was even more memorable, as more than 250 students reunited after 14 months of distance learning. 

“They all rose to occasion,” Advanced Technologies Academy Principal Jonathan Synold said of Wednesday’s graduates. “They understood the circumstances, to realize that online learning can continue, and it did continue, and they are ready for college.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned things upside down for so many, but the struggles each family faced helped them truly appreciate this moment. 

“So much confusion and it was a hassle basically,” graduate Amedau Waifo said. “But we got through it, so I’m proud of it.”

Graduates also told 8 News Now that after this tough year, they are ready for anything the future brings. 

“We’re here,” parent Alvin Waifo said. “We’re beating it, you know?”

“It was definitely a long haul the last year,” Advanced Technologies Academy Senior Class President Shaylie Walker said. “So I’m super excited to be done and onto the next chapter.”

Wednesday’s graduation was the first live event to be held at Thomas & Mack Center since March 2020. 

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