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Posted: May 14, 2020

Celebrities, Politicians & Athletes Helped Celebrate (Virtually) the APS Class of 2020

More than a dozen actors, athletes, and politicians with ties to Albuquerque sent the Class of 2020 messages of hope that were included in Senior Celebration videos.

APS 2020 Senior Celebration

APS 2020 Senior Celebration

The videos are personalized for each of APS’s 13 comprehensive and 8 magnet high schools, mixing celebrity and politician shout outs with photographs and videos of students. The videos premiered at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 13. 

All 21 APS high school videos are posted to the APS Graduation website and YouTube

When New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended a public health order in April that closed schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, APS and school districts across the state had no choice but to postpone or cancel graduation ceremonies. While APS hasn’t given up hope of rescheduling some form of commencement during the summer, the district wanted to do something for seniors when graduation was initially planned in mid-May.

The APS Communications Office and high school activities directors came up with the idea of a Senior Celebration video titled, “An Exercise in Preparedness.” They extended invitations to take part in the video to celebrities and politicians with ties to Albuquerque. At least three of the positive messengers are APS graduates:

  • Actor Neil Patrick Harris, who graduated from La Cueva High School
  • Actor and Bernalillo County Commissioner (and former APS school board member) Steven Michael Quezada, who graduated from West Mesa High School
  • Singer Alex Stern, an Eldorado High School graduate who will sing the National Anthem in the video.

Gov. Lujan Grisham, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and New Mexico Education Secretary Ryan Stewart also sent uplifting message for seniors, as did Albuquerque native Alex Bregman, the all-star third baseman for the Houston Astros, and actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family fame, who went to St. Pius High School, and Bryan Cranston, whose popular TV series Breaking Bad was filmed in Albuquerque.

APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy provided the introductory message for the video, and APS Board of Education members will each make an appearance.

“One of the best parts of the superintendent’s job is seeing our students reach the pinnacle of high school graduation. I was especially looking forward to the Class of 2020 commencements, which would have been my last since I am retiring at the end of the school year,” Reedy said. “I am so glad that we have found a way to celebrate the hard work and promising futures of these students. They deserve the best, and we want to make sure their send-off is something special.”