‘Pomp and Circumstance’ returns for Dysart district seniors

Students to graduate at State Farm May 19


In a graduation ceremony that will undoubtedly look different, Dysart Unified School District seniors will get to walk across the stage at State Farm Stadium this time around.

DUSD officials have worked closely with officials at State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, since the start of the year to plan this year’s ceremony on Wednesday, May 19.

DUSD communications director Renee Ryon said Dysart is excited to provide an in-person graduation this year for the 2021 graduates.

State Farm Stadium has event restrictions in place, including all attendees must present a ticket for entrance, which were distributed through the schools. There is no charge for admission or parking.

Everyone in attendance must follow State Farm Stadium policies and procedures, including wearing a face covering. Seating is limited to help with physical distancing.

“We are so incredibly excited that our son, Michael, will have the opportunity for an in-person graduation ceremony with Shadow Ridge High School,” said Chantell McNeese, a Shadow Ridge High School parent. “Persevering through COVID has been very hard this year. With all of the hardships and trials we’ve faced, we are overjoyed that an in-person ceremony is a possibility. Our ’20-21 graduates have been creative, determined and strong. The opportunity to walk across the stage at the arena in full graduation regalia will be a moment our seniors will never forget.”

All graduation ceremonies will be livestreamed by Dysart Student Broadcasting Live students at

DSB Live is a program to provide high school students with the opportunity for hands-on, real-world experience in broadcasting. The livestream is free of charge, and will allow anyone to watch the ceremony live or the recorded video.

DUSD governing board member Traci Sawyer-Sinkbeil said as a board member for the past 11 years and after participating in 10 graduation ceremonies with four schools each year, it is exciting to watch students walk across the stage in front of family, friends and the teachers who have been instrumental during the 12-year journey.

“Having an in-person ceremony this year, in spite of the challenges that all of our students have endured, shows a sense of pride, determination and accomplishment. This year has been like no other and the dedication and fortitude during this pandemic is much to be admired of our graduates. I have always been impressed by their dedication, hard work and resilience, but this particular year’s milestone shows that our graduates are a stellar group of young men and women, who are now qualified and compassionate future leaders who are making positive changes in the world,” she said.

She credited the DUSD graduates for persevering during a pandemic and remaining true to the goals set to get across the stage.

“Thank you for showing the world what it means to be an extraordinary Dysart graduate,” she added.

Jennifer Jimenez can be reached at or follow her on Twitter @SCW_Independent.