EL MONTE – El Monte Union High School District honored the Class of 2021 with in-person graduation ceremonies for El Monte, South El Monte, Rosemead, Arroyo, Mountain View and Fernando R. Ledesma high schools, inviting graduates, family members and staff to celebrate together after a year in remote learning.

The ceremonies, held June 3 and 4, brought students and families back to the schools’ outdoor stadiums and courtyards, where they followed safety protocols that included masks and social distancing.

“We could not be prouder of our seniors, for everything they have accomplished, certainly for their perseverance during an unprecedented year, but also for all of their hard work ever since their freshman year,” Board of Trustees President Florencio Briones said. “Congratulations to the Class of 2021, and good luck as you go on to live a life full of learning and success.”

Carrying graduation leis, bouquets and balloons to celebrate their students, guests applauded as seniors walked the stage, received their diplomas and turned their tassels to the left. Student speakers delivered heartfelt speeches, applauding their classmates for their perseverance and determination.

“What an incredible year it has been, testing our strength and making us stronger,” Fernando R. Ledesma High School graduate Jalissa Valdez said during her farewell address. “Whatever we go on to do, whether it is to college or the workforce, we survived something no one has ever had to face before, so I know we can do anything.”

The District’s celebrated roughly 1,600 graduates in the Class of 2021, with more than 350 from El Monte; 440 graduates each from Rosemead and Arroyo; more than 150 from Ledesma; more than 300 from Mountain View and nearly 300 from South El Monte.

“The best word to describe the EMUHSD Class of 2021 is resilient,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “Our scholars rose to the challenge of a final year that demanded so much more from them than anyone could have expected, and our District is glad to see them walking the stage and being recognized for all of their efforts – congratulations Class of 2021.”


060421_EMUHSD_GRAD1: Fernando R. Ledesma High School’s Class of 2021 celebrate during their in-person commencement ceremony June 3 at the FRLHS campus.

060421_EMUHSD_GRAD2: Mountain View High School’s Class of 2021 celebrates their commencement during a June 3 graduation ceremony.