Camp Zama seniors kick off graduation ceremony season for DODEA schools in Asia
Stars and Stripes May 25, 2023
CAMP ZAMA, Japan — Graduation ceremonies have begun at Defense Department high schools across the Pacific, where students at the home of U.S. Army Japan were the first to pick up their diplomas.
Zama Middle-High School on Wednesday sent 53 seniors into the world, the first of 863 students from Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Japan, South Korea and Guam. Ceremonies are scheduled over the course of this week and next week.
Three of Zama’s seniors plan to enlist in the military, but most will head to colleges and universities, assistant principal Natasha Anderson said at the ceremony on the school’s athletic field.
“While I’m sad to see you move on to your next chapter, I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about your growth,” she said in her speech. “You are well prepared for what the world holds.”
Other DODEA schools on main-island Japan have scheduled commencement ceremonies this week.
Yokota High School at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo was scheduled to graduate its 50th senior class on Thursday. Friday’s ceremonies include Nile C. Kinnick High School at Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo; Edgren Middle-High School at Misawa Air Base in northeastern Japan; E.J. King Middle-High School at Sasebo Naval Base, on Kyushu; and Matthew C. Perry High School at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, near Hiroshima.
At Yokota High, rain canceled the annual decision-day parade scheduled for Tuesday. The school instead planned an assembly Thursday on Facebook Live where seniors would announce their post-high school plans.
DODEA schools in South Korea, Guam and Okinawa have scheduled their graduation ceremonies for next week.
In South Korea, Humphreys High School at Camp Humphreys’ graduation is scheduled for Tuesday, Osan Middle High School on Wednesday and Daegu Middle-High School on June 1.
Guam High School will hold its graduation on June 2.
On Okinawa, Kadena High School at Kadena Air Base is scheduled to send forth its graduates on June 2 followed the next day by the final Pacific region graduation ceremony of the year at Kubasaki High School on Camp Foster.
This year marks DODEA Pacific’s 76th year for graduating classes. The district encompasses 12 high schools.
DODEA is responsible for schools on U.S. military installations worldwide. DODEA-Pacific is responsible for 45 schools with over 21,000 students in Japan, South Korea and Guam.