‘Very grateful’: Parents, students react to in-person graduation announcements

TRI-CITIES Wash, — Parents and students alike are “thankful” that many local graduation ceremonies will now take place in person, allowing graduates to make one last memory with their classmates.

For Pasco High senior Stephen Misczuk, navigating online school over the past two years was “rough.”

“Junior and senior year were weird trying to understand how to do everything online,” Misczuk said. “But I’m happy to see all my friends graduate by my side with me.”

Misczuk said when he heard the announcement that ceremonies were in person, he was “happy” and used that newfound motivation to finish strong.

“I told all of my friends, hey, we can do this, we can make it, we can go this far,” Misczuk said.

Irma Janosky, the parent of a Southridge High senior, said she was “really glad” that she was going to be able to see her daughter walk across the stage.

“I know how difficult it was last year when the seniors didn’t get their graduation,” Janosky said. “I’m really proud but also emotional in a positive way and I’m very thankful we get to have a ceremony.”

Janosky said that her daughter was selected to make a speech at graduation, making the day even more special.

“There’s just always those memories of finishing high school and it’s such a huge accomplishment for so many people,” Janosky said.

Sonya Lovato, a parent of a Richland High senior, agreed with Janosky, adding that she’s glad her daughter Audrey will be able to “see her friends one last time.”

“It’s going to be one more memory for her that she’ll cherish and take away from her four years,” Lovato said.

Audrey is the third out of four siblings to graduate from high school, something that Lovato said she’s proud of.

“We have family traditions like family photos, a party with all of the cousins and family who graduate, and a family trip,” Lovato said. “So taking away one more thing would have been traumatic.”

But according to Lovato, the most important thing is recognizing the hard work the students have put in.

“I just want to congratulate the class of 2021. They’ve been through a lot and I’m glad they get to do this,” Lovato said.