Breaking tradition


Lauren Montano

Too anxious to wait, seniors Yaritza Figueroa and Brenda Aguyo open their cap and gown packages with friends, at the lunch tables, during B lunch on, June 4, in order to try on their caps and tassel. “ I’ve been waiting four years for this!” Figueroa said.

Mia Dixon-Slaughter, Co-Editor-in-Cheif

The class of 2013 will graduate on June 20 at 8:00 p.m. but not on Downey High School’s field; the decision has been made to have the ceremony at Cerritos College.


This is not the first graduation to be held at Cerritos; nine years ago the 2004 graduating class was in the same scenario. The ceremony will not be held in Downey’s stadium for many reasons, one being that the construction at the school is still in progress, and the faculty and ASB agreed it would be more convenient to have the ceremony at a larger stadium because of the size of this senior class.


ASB president, Carla Rosales, 12, explained that the construction on campus and the size of the stadium are a disadvantage for the graduating students.


“We were having a lot of trouble with space because our senior class is a lot bigger than before,” Rosales said, “and the construction also makes everything difficult.”


The class of 2013 does appreciate the extra space. Since the stadium at Cerritos is larger than Downey’s, the students have no limit as to how many friends and family members they can bring. These relieved some students and made them even more excited for their senior graduation.


Clare Cho, 12, was happy to hear that she would be able to bring as many guests as she’d like and didn’t mind that the graduation ceremony wouldn’t be at Downey.


“I don’t mind the changes,” Cho said. “I would rather be able to bring all my friends and family than have to fight for tickets because the space is so limited here.”


Although some seniors enjoy the benefits of the different location, others believe the graduation would be more sentimental if it was at their own school. Since the students have dedicated four years of their life to this school, to not graduate where they started would be depriving them of their school spirit.


Steven Clemens, 12, felt that the graduation is perfect for our conditions now but the upcoming classes would not appreciate it if the graduation continued to be at Cerritos.


“The future graduating classes would not approve, seeing as they want to finish where they started,” Clemens said, “because our sweat, and sometimes blood, is shed on school grounds and having graduation here is a reminder of the struggles, the memories made, the friendships—it’s all connected.”



Even faculty had strong opinions about the location change. It surprised some of the staff members who agreed that traditions such as turning the stage into a Viking ship will be missed.


Counselor, Nicole Sanders, doesn’t think the same essence can be grasped on a different field.


“The graduating committee transformed the stage into a Viking ship,” Sanders said. “We simply can’t capture that same Viking feeling at Cerritos.”


The graduation may not be held here, but the seniors will now be able to graduate with all their friends and family in one place and, enjoying a stress-free ceremony that will still be significant to these soon-to-be high school graduates.