By Elena Gaeta, Contributing Writer, Valle Lindo School District
One hundred and forty-two green balloons filled the skies over South El Monte on Friday, June 12th in celebration of the Dean L. Shively Middle School 8th Grade Class of 2020. Valle Lindo School District hosted the event that began with a virtual promotion ceremony streamed on the school district website. Each graduate was featured along with photos from their kindergarten through eighth grade years. Congratulatory messages from Superintendent, Lynn Bulgin, and Principal, Elizabeth Evans, along with quotes from the class valedictorians helped to make the video ceremony representative of an in-person ceremony.
Following the video viewing, nearly 150 decorated cars lined up to participate in a drive-through car parade. Along the parade route, masked and physically distanced kindergarten through 8th grade teachers and staff members lined the streets holding green balloons and hand-made posters congratulating the students on their success. “It was so beautiful to see our students again and be able to celebrate them in person,” shared teacher, Maria Alcala. Upon entering the school parking lot, the students were greeted by the entire Valle Lindo School District Board of Education. Board members Rey Soto, Rudy Martinez, Veronica Lauria, Veronica Castillo, and David Del Rio presented the students with their promotion diploma, academic excellence awards, and scholarships. Each student also received a commemorative pin and 2020 tassel to remember the year and their time as Shively Saints. “President of the Board, Rey Soto, boasted with pride, “this is absolutely fantastic! Look at these kids, they are so excited and their parents are so proud of them. What a great way to end the year!”
Once the last car passed through, and the last diploma was awarded, the teachers, staff, administrators and board members came together in front of the school to release the balloons. Each balloon represented one graduating student – 142 total. Principal, Elizabeth Evans explained, “Our theme at Shively this year was ‘Let’s lift each other up’. The balloon launch was the perfect way to end the year.” From all around the city, people looked up to see the balloons rising together into the sky. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
142 green balloons were released in honor of the Shively Class of 2020
Over 150 decorated cars participated in the car parade and diploma presentations.
Board member, Veronica Castillo, presents a diploma and awards to a graduating 8th grader.