Yokota HS class of 2023 helps celebrate 50 years of education > Yokota Air Base > News
The Yokota High School class of 2023 helped celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary while participating in a graduation ceremony alongside educators, parents and family members at the Taiyo Community Center on Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 25, 2023.
Established in 1973, the school was designed as a “school with open doors” to help facilitate learning with modular classes and has since undergone several facility expansions and adjustments to its curriculum to increase support of families and students.
“The school has changed throughout its 50-year history, yet our mission still remains the same,” said Rebecca Villagomez, YHS principal. “That mission is to educate, engage and empower military connected students.”
In addition to celebrating the half century milestone, the YHS recently held a teacher appreciation week to thank YHS educators for their commitment to students and recognizing the 50 years of support to the Yokota community.
“We’re doing everything we can to celebrate as much as we can,” Villagomez said. “We have a large amount of community support, as we all have the common goal of helping our students succeed.”
A total of 58 students graduated at the ceremony with many of them set to attend a four-year college, enter military service, directly seek employment, or pursue other passions.
“In education we try to prepare them for not just a test, but for life after high school,” Villagomez said. “I think to be a YHS Panther is to be resilient, to rise above any challenge that comes our way.”
The school persistently builds upon its foundation of a student-centered environment by providing challenges and encouraging collaborative efforts to help students learn to overcome problems, so they can be better prepared to strike out on their own.
“Wherever you go, whatever you do from this point on … you may always call Yokota home,” said Jason Goodwin, YHS assistant principal. “Once a Panther, always a Panther.”