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Opinion: Hats off to the class of 2020

The Henry Hype

Grad season may have looked a little different this year, but it was still the time of year that made me feel warm and fuzzy.

I climbed into my car to participate in several grad rallies over the last couple of weeks, and each one brought a smile to my face.

Unfortunately, the majority of the 2020 graduating classes weren’t able to walk across the stage to accept their diploma, but the teachers and staff from high schools didn’t disappoint when they were handing out yard signs, gifts, and even bringing the cap and gown treatment to their students' homes.

The ‘COVID-19 class’ may have missed out on the final months of their senior year, but thanks to the hard work of those around them, they were still able to celebrated. Sure, it wasn’t what everyone had planned but it was something.

Since I started working for the Nouvelle, grad season meant capturing important moments from each school's ceremony and sharing them with the community. I enjoy this each and every time because I always look fondly back on my own, and remember what an accomplishment it is for everyone who walks across the stage.

Even if ceremonies are permitted to happen in the fall, it’s not the same as marking your final days in high school like generations of classes before you did.

After attending five celebrations in Bonnyville, Cold Lake, and Kehewin, the send-off organized by staff and teachers at the local high schools didn't disappoint.

When I drive through town, I can’t help but smile when I see a yard sign proudly announcing "a grad lives here" and I hope they feel the same way.

You did it.

You finished high school, and you accomplished it during a pandemic. How many people can say that? When we look back on the craziness that was the coronavirus pandemic, you can proudly say ‘I remember graduating high school during that time.’

We might not think too fondly of these past few months, but this is one of the bright spots. The community has come together in unique ways to ensure a milestone doesn't go by without being celebrated, and we showed these students that their hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

To the class of 2020, I wish you all the best on your future endeavours. I think you can truly say nothing held you back, because a pandemic certainly didn’t stop you.

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle