LEXINGTON — After seeing nearly all of their spring semester events canceled or delayed, Lexington’s Class of 2020 was finally able to complete a seminal moment in their education, turning the tassel at their graduation.
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the traditional May graduation date, the new date eventually decided upon was Saturday, July 25. The event was not held in the Lexington High School gym, but outside at Kirkpatrick Memorial Park, to allow for as many people as possible to attend.
The gazebo was the center of the event, where the speeches were held and where the seniors walked through to receive their, “diplomas.” The graduating class was sat in front of the gazebo with parents and friends able to gather around the area. Parking was in short supply along Taft St.
During the opening remarks, soon to be LHS principal, Audrey Downey, read a letter written by retired principal Kyle Hoehner.
“During your brief lifetime, you have experienced enough to fill a couple of history books,” Hoehner wrote, “Throughout all of the big and sometimes crazy events that were taking place across America and the world this past year, these seniors found their way to set many LHS records.”
The records included,
All-Time Highest Graduation Rate: 94 percent
All-Time Highest Daily Attendance: 97 percent
238 scholarships for a total of $3.1 million
Numerous state, district, conference and invitational championships in LHS sports and activities
“Seeing my students accomplish those things that others say is impossible provides even greater inspiration to achieve the next impossible,” Hoehner wrote.
The opening comments were presented by Esmeralda Acevedo-Barrios, who noted the tumultuous times her class was graduating in the midst of, not only due to the virus, but also racial unrest, protests and climate change.
During the student addresses, Madison Sutton based her speech on statistics and cited all the different stats it took to get the seniors to this point in their education, which included amount of food eaten and several years spent just in the classroom.
Carolyn Zamora-Saenz called her class, “resilient,” and said, “We finally made it.”
During the last address Carly Holbrook also noted what the class had gone through during what was supposed to be the spring semester.
Alfredo Con offered the closing remarks and told his classmates to not forget about Lexington, the town which had raised many of them and the community which had been there for them throughout the years.
Superintendent John Hakonson formally presented the Class of 2020 to the school board and said they should now receive their diplomas, emphasizing, “Without any further delay.”
The class roll this year was read by soon to be LHS assistant principal Luis Nieto, diplomas were handed out by members of the school board.
Class president Tessa Eldridge lead the Class of 2020 in the long delayed turning of the tassel, formally marking their graduation and completion of their public school education.
The class sponsors were Kyle Hoehner and Audrey Downey. Junior escorts were Mackenzie West and Keith Allen.
The class motto was, “The hardest battle you will face in life is to be no one but yourself in a world which is trying it’s hardest to make you like everyone else.”
The class flower was the daisy, class colors were black and white and the class song was “Congratulations,” by Post Malone.