LCHS Seniors Celebrate Return to Campus; Rose Bowl Graduation

Photo by Mary Emily Myers / Outlook Valley Sun
La Cañada High School’s student government members, who were among the seniors on campus yesterday in preparation for their official return to school, include (front row, from left) Senior Class President Seema Kayali, JT Salcido, ASB President Andrew Han, Colin Melillo, Andrew Chi, Ben Lee and Emaan Qazi. Back: Gordon Cucullu, Alison Flynn, Keaton Comstock and Cari James.

After more than a year of isolation and cancelled activities, it felt like a triumphant return to La Cañada High School for seniors on Wednesday with more promising days ahead: a return to limited on-campus learning, a slew of scheduled fun activities and an in-person graduation ceremony to be held at the Rose Bowl for the senior class of 2021.
During the “Seniors Return to School” event held outdoors at Spartan Stadium, about 150 seniors excitedly gathered to learn details about the remaining end-of-year activities, procedures for graduation and, above all, to absorb some inspiration to fight off what’s become known as Zoom gloom.

“Today was a pretty important day for us,” said LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal. “We are very excited to have our seniors back and share with them some big ideas to end the year on a high note and do all we can to bring back these time-honored traditions.”
One of the biggest traditions — graduation — is scheduled to return to an in-person ceremony after last year’s was postponed, then cancelled and replaced with a drive-thru celebration. For the first time ever, on Thursday, June 3, the LCHS graduating class is scheduled to take the field at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium. Seniors will be able to invite limited family and guests to the ceremony, which will be socially distanced in congruence with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We knew that in order to have an in-person graduation, we were going to need a much bigger venue than our home campus,” Cartnal said. “With the unwavering support of our superintendent and her cabinet, we were able to book the Rose Bowl. This really is just an indication of the community and school district rallying around our seniors to help them feel special and supported, recognizing what an incredibly difficult year it’s been.”
Among other scheduled upcoming activities for seniors, there will be a Grad Night at Universal Studios on May 28 and an on-campus prom set for May 15, most of which will be held outside to allow for social distancing, and will likely include a dance floor, a food area and a lounge.
With the help and cooperation from the city, there will also again be the city-wide senior portraits lining the light poles on Foothill Boulevard, Cartnal said.
“Anything we can do to give our seniors these life memories we want to be able to do so,” he added.