As high school seniors celebrate with graduation ceremonies across Grays Harbor County this month, they do so having experienced an extraordinary period of time.
Their march toward graduation was abruptly interrupted in their junior year when a pandemic — COVID-19 — swept across the nation with devastating consequences. Suddenly, students went from going to school to sitting at home grappling with an educational process that included remote learning.
As the pandemic continued to wreak havoc, the process evolved and students, teachers and parents adjusted to their new way of life. While the process wasn’t always smooth, the result has been a return to a more conventional end to the school year — graduation ceremonies.
Hoquiam High School seniors tossed their caps into the air on Sunday, June 6, as they celebrated a year of challenges and perseverance at a socially distanced ceremony held at Olympic Stadium. Mask requirements were also observed at the ceremony.
Harbor High School students followed with a unique graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 8, in the school’s parking lot on North Williams Street in Aberdeen.
Students and their families, as documented earlier this week by The Daily World staff writer Dan Hammock, sat in and around their vehicles in the parking lot at the front of the school.
The nine graduating students later gathered for a group photo before making the march to the traditional playing of Pomp and Circumstance around the parking lot before returning to their respective vehicles.
Aberdeen High School seniors were scheduled to participate in their graduation ceremony on Friday, June 11, followed by Elma High School seniors on Saturday, June 12, and Montesano High School seniors on Sunday, June 13.
As high school seniors across Grays Harbor County celebrate the end of their kindergarten through 12th grade journey, we tip our hats to their achievements and marvel at their accomplishments.
They have faced unprecedented challenges along the way; they have preserved in the face of adversity. And, we wish them all the best as they march into the future having thrived in a period of time like no other in our nation’s history.
Congratulations to our seniors — the Class of 2021.