It’s time: The Class of 2022 is graduating

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Credit: WSPN Staff

The time for senior graduation has come. The Class of 2022 had their last day of high school on Friday, May 27, and will be graduating on Friday, June 3. “[The seniors] have a lot of energy, and they’re doing great things with their lives,” Wayland High School Principal Allyson Mizoguchi said. “We’re just really proud of them.”

Tina Su

On Friday, June 3 at 6 p.m., graduation for the Wayland High School Class of 2022 will take place at the WHS stadium. This will be the first time that senior graduation is on a Friday evening since two times in the 1990s, as it has been at 3 p.m. on a Sunday all other years.

Since COVID-19, WHS graduations have been modified. In 2020, the graduates were split into four smaller groups to limit the number of people attending, and family pods were spaced out across the field. Last year, while the event was a lot closer to normal, there were still restrictions that WHS administration had to abide by, such as limiting the number of allowed attendees.

This year, senior graduation is slowly returning back to normal.

“There is no limit on the number of guests that graduates can bring,” WHS Principal Allyson Mizoguchi said. “[WHS is] back to all [graduates, families and friends] congregating at the same time to celebrate our seniors.”

The decision to have graduation set on a Friday was made in hopes that a Friday evening will be more convenient for many rather than a Sunday afternoon.

“Having a Friday evening [graduation] hopefully frees up the weekend for celebrations,” Mizoguchi said. “We are also hoping that more members of our community and our district staff can attend on a Friday evening as opposed to a Sunday afternoon.”

A big component of making sure the event runs smoothly is the graduation rehearsal beforehand. Graduation rehearsal is set to take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1.

“Rehearsal is really about lining up in alphabetical order and knowing who you are walking side by side [with],” Class of 2022 advisor Scott Parseghian said. “ [Rehearsal is also] about making sure you are walking in with the [right] person.”

With all of the logistical components of graduation returning back to normal, there is still one main difference between the Class of 2022 and previous graduates.

“This year’s seniors have been through a lot,” Mizoguchi said. “This is a graduating class that had experiences at [WHS] before COVID-19, during COVID-19 and now.”

[I have] a whole lot of gratitude [toward the seniors], and [I want to say] how proud [WHS staff] are of what they have accomplished despite so many challenges in their way. Their connections with one another and with us have been really treasured. So, best wishes and good luck to the Class of 2022.”

— Allyson Mizoguchi

The Class of 2022 has navigated through all of the shutdowns that COVID-19 brought upon their high school careers.

“[The seniors] have withstood a lot, and despite all of that, they were able to reclaim some really important traditions,” Mizoguchi said. “[For example, the seniors brought back the] Senior Show, where they were able to restart the importance of being together and being a cohesive class.”

Even though COVID-19 caused many delays in the past three years, the Class of 2022 was resilient and able to bounce back from any obstacles.

“My main job [as class president] was to create fun and engaging events through the years, and although we were affected by COVID-19, there really weren’t any events that we missed,” Class of 2022 President Andrew Zhao said.

The spirit and energy shown by this year’s graduates is also something many will miss as the seniors move onto the next chapter of their lives.

“They say good morning to me in the mornings, they cheer one another on [and] they have a lot of respect for each other,” Mizoguchi said. “I think there is quite a bit of cohesion [within the Class of 2022] that brings a really nice positive feel to our campus. I’ve always felt like the tone of a campus is largely set by student leaders [and] the oldest kids on campus.”

This graduating class is connected by all of their shared experiences and events throughout their past four years of high school. These events and experiences were something that the student government worked hard to plan and put on.

“My role as president has affected my perspective on our school in that I’m more connected to my class,” Zhao said. “I’ve been chosen as the person to help create events that cater to all of our class, so I’ve grown to know the entirety of my class through my four years [at WHS].”

While graduation is portrayed as a celebratory time, there are also marks of sadness for many.

“I’m excited for graduation [because] it’s exciting to think [about] the possibilities of our futures beyond WHS,” Zhao said. “Although, it is definitely bittersweet, as we will soon have to say goodbye to classmates that we have been together with for the past 12 years.”

Administration also holds this bittersweet sentiment about the Class of 2022 graduating from WHS, as their shared experiences are unique to only this graduating class.

“[I have] a whole lot of gratitude [toward the seniors], and [I want to say] how proud [WHS staff] are of what they have accomplished despite so many challenges in their way,” Mizoguchi said. “Their connections with one another and with us have been really treasured. So, best wishes and good luck to the Class of 2022.”