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BHS Graduates 72 Students

2019-20 was a tumultuous school year, overshadowed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that put a halt to in-person classes on March 16.

The pandemic stopped everything from prom to spring sports, but on Friday, the class of 2020 was able to gather one last time for a graduation ceremony that was up in the air two months ago.

BHS graduated 72 students (minus two who have made military commitments and were unable to attend) on the infield of the track, an unconventional setting for a strange, grim year.

Temperatures were in the high 80s, but winds gusted in from the west, providing better circulation than any ceremony staged in the high school gymnasium. 

Bleachers were not necessary on this night. The district separated one area for students and six guests of their choosing and another area for anyone else who wanted to pull up a folding chair. There was no need to sit elbow-to-elbow while furiously waving a crumpled up program to cool yourself down. 

It was, as salutatorian Alexis Tackett said, a “corona-fied” ceremony, one that touched heavily on making an impact in an ever-changing world.

Valedictorian Colbe Radford said the pandemic had prepared them for the rest of their lives.

“Our current situation has made me realize that science does matter and saves lives. We’ve chosen to see and use the situation as an opportunity. Our world has changed, but it’s our turn to change the world.”

Class president Ashlyn Lewis said the class of 2020 is resilient and they have a responsibility to make the world a better place.

Tackett touched on the importance of working hard and shared that her academic rivalry with Radford was a great motivator.

“I despised our competition, but I know I wouldn’t have worked as hard or pushed myself as hard without it,” she said. 

She closed by encouraging her fellow graduates to continue learning, challenge themselves and “find their Colbe.”

“Even if you don’t surpass them, push yourself beyond what you think your limits may be,” she said.

Sullivan Independent News

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