Rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Aberdeen High School’s Class of 2021 at its graduation ceremony at Stewart Field on Friday evening.
Umbrellas popped up several times during the ceremony as the 165 students awaited their diplomas, their allotted six guests scattered under cover in the bleachers.
School staff and the Class of 2021 made sure everyone in the stands got a chance to see them march into the stadium, looping around the length of the track to the north goal post before taking their seats between the hash marks on the field.
Aberdeen top scholars addressed their classmates, and Principal David Glasier welcomed the graduates and their guests. As graduates headed to the podium for their diplomas, several beach balls were batted around by their classmates.
Superintendent Alicia Henderson told the Class of 2021 she had two sentiments to share as they moved on after graduation: “Embrace life to the fullest and avoid efforts to divide us.”
“We have spent the past 16 months keeping our distance from each other, communicating remotely, and foregoing opportunities that we took for granted before the pandemic,” said Henderson.
“We have appropriately taken measures to stay healthy. We can continue to do this, while at the same time be emboldened to embrace life to the fullest. Now it is time to find our strength, and emerge from the cocoon.”
She encouraged the Bobcats Class of 2021 to avoid efforts to divide them.
“Our differences should be a source of strength, because we can all learn from each other,” said Henderson. “Different perspectives are important to understand, and ultimately enrich our own perspectives. Right now there are many efforts to divide us, whether by politics, religion, ethnicity, age, or other defining characteristics.”
Henderson continued, “We are stronger, and our nation is stronger, when we work together, with respect and appreciation for each other. Wherever you find yourself on your next step, be aware of efforts to divide us, and choose instead to find what unites us.”