Thirty-nine students graduated from West Hancock High School on May 23, following a senior year like no other.
“Your willingness to make the most out of this situation broke through the cloud of COVID like the first rays of sunshine after an afternoon thunderstorm,” WHHS Principal Dan Peterson told them during his welcome address.
“You came together. You adapted. You compromised. And you found solutions that improved and made the most out of each opportunity that you had,” he said. “To the Class of 2021, you will always be remembered for your contributions to the school and the community during this pandemic.”
The student speakers, who were chosen by the senior class, were Autumn Hildebrand, Rachel Leerar, and Chance Eden. Mazie Erdahl, Hildebrand and Grace Rosin tied for valedictorian honors, while Leerar was the salutatorian.
The guest speaker was industrial technology teacher Paul Francis.
The ceremony was very similar to traditional WHHS graduations. It was held in the high school gym with unlimited seating for families and friends of the graduates.
Last year, WHHS commencement was pushed back to June 13 amidst COVID-19 concerns. Participation was limited to graduates and their immediate family members. Awards to Class of 2020 graduates were presented by faculty and staff only, with everyone masking.
The scene at WHHS at the 2021 commencement was almost completely back to pre-pandemic with a traditional ceremony and many smiling faces.
West Hancock seniors received their caps and gowns during the week ending May 7. A May 19 awards ceremony was held with the presentation of awards and scholarships, followed by a baccalaureate service.