by Joy Thornton & Hunter Dawkins
After two and half months of an infamous quarantine, both senior classes were ready to make their final curtain call.
Despite the unconventional school year, Pass Christian High School’s “Visionary” Class of 2020 carried out an unforgettable graduation ceremony this past Friday.
Jimmy Hoang’s valedictorian speech inspired and reminded his classmates that they should continue to persevere when faced with uncertainty while Emma Palmer’s salutatorian speech also encouraged her peers to believe that their setbacks do not define them.
Both students recalled cherished memories with their classmates that they experienced at Pass High. Additionally, both remarked how none of this could be made possible without the support of the shool’s administration. Completing his first year as principal of Pass High, Boyd West provided a statement in which he described what it was like to see the class of 2020 ensure they got the graduation they deserved.
West remarks, “We teach students a lot of things, but tonight they taught us that Pass Christian, as a school district and a community, is stronger than any circumstances that may arise. Of all of the lessons that they have learned, this lesson of perseverance and determination will serve them well as they navigate the next chapters in their lives.”
The feeling is mutual because Jimmy Hoang, valedictorian, felt that his graduation was the perfect culmination of his high school experience.
He described, “Graduation was nothing short of magical. In fact, it was the perfect ending to a long but fulfilling chapter in our lives. My fellow graduates and I could feel the overwhelming amount of love and support from the entire community that night. We were not only being celebrated for graduating high school but also for overcoming adversity yet again during unprecedented and uncertain times.”
Now and in the near future, times may be uncertain, but what is evident is the effort brought forth by the class of 2020 and the community to create a night that would not be forgotten.
Tuesday night, the Senior Class of 2020 for Long Beach High School finally said goodbye, as they earned their diplomas at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Commencement ceremony in Biloxi.
Valedictorian Katie Baker said it best in pointing out this senior classes ability to “overcome” all of the obstacles and pursue greater things in life.
Long Beach High School Principal Dr. Talia Lock expressed, “From day one, this class was adamant that they graduated together as a unified student body. With the patience, understanding, and flexibility of the students and the parents along with a lot of hard work and organization from the administrators and teachers in the district, it all came together. I couldn’t be happier for the class of 2020.”
Dr. Lock followed by saying, “Everyone that attended the event and talked to the students all said the same thing. They were all so appreciative and grateful to have this graduation ceremony, so as the principal when you hear things like that, it makes you realize just how special these students really are.”