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By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

FUHS, Oasis, and Ivy hold drive-through diploma ceremonies


Last updated 6/18/2020 at 5:57pm

No, it wasn't the way Fallbrook Union High School Principal Dr. Narciso Iglesias envisioned sending the first batch of seniors under his watch off to the next chapter of life.

Like so many aspects of life these days, due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, more than a few things haven't gone to plan.

But for Dr. Iglesias, being able to look into the eyes of all of the school's 2020 graduates after they picked up their diplomas last week meant a lot to him.

"It was good to see them, oh yeah, absolutely," Dr. Iglesias said. "There was closure there. Just absolutely closure to the school year by having that happen."

All of the graduates from the three schools were invited to the drive-through diploma ceremonies, meaning the students were allowed out of their cars and had the opportunity to walk across the stage, be acknowledged by school staff and administrators, and be photographed professionally with their diploma.

Oasis High students went first Tuesday, June 9; Ivy High students were next, Wednesday, June 10, and three sessions were held for Fallbrook High students Thursday and Friday, June 11, and 12.

"What I'm hearing from parents is that they felt overwhelmed and they were quite surprised by how much effort and energy we put into this," Dr. Iglesias said. "I'm so happy for our parents because our goal was to deliver the diplomas into the hands of our students.

"For many of our parents, it ended up being just an incredible moment in time to see their child walk down with the music playing in the background. They have their diploma in hand, they come to this photo opportunity ... I felt they were super happy."

The nature of the social distancing and precautions being in place, he said, made the entire process feel more special for each student.

"It felt like a very individualized, custom," Dr. Iglesias said. "It was customized for our students. Even the photographer was saying, 'Can we do it this way for next year?'"

He also credited a lot of staff and members of the district's and school's administration for making it happen.

"A lot of our team came together, our (assistant principals) and our support staff and our teachers all came together to make this happen," Dr. Iglesias said. "And it was incredible. There were incredible moments for our parents and our students. Again, not ideal. This is not ideal, but it was something special and you could see it in the kids' eyes.

"It was also very hard for me because I wanted them to shake my hand. Some of them looked back at me and said words to me, kind words. And it was just all awkward to have to deal with the whole COVID-19, the necessity of keeping a physical distancing away from each other. So, for me, at times, it was very difficult. But it was also rewarding to do this for the students."

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]


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