Commencement for the DCHS Class of 2020 was definitely unique.
Graduates’ chairs on the track at Mustang Stadium were spaced six feet apart. Audience members clustered together in family groups of four with six feet of empty bleacher space between groups.
Graduates walked across the stage one by one, but instead of receiving a handshake with their diploma, they reached into a box and picked up their diploma without any human contact.
Despite the adaptations forced upon the celebration, Davis County’s seniors were finally able to receive the recognition they deserved for completing the first 13 years of their education.
Salutatorian Grace Fleming reflected on the changes forced upon the class as COVID-19 destroyed the end of their final year of high school.
“We faced doubt, disappointment, and confusion,” she said. “But look at our four years together, not just the past few months. Memories are unforgettable and should be cherished. This was just one little hiccup in the road. Let’s take this experience and show that we can overcome anything.”
In her valedictory address, Kaden Porter recalled three ba
sic expectations given to the class as freshmen: Show up. Do your best. Be nice.
“Not only show up,” Porter advised, “show up, and make your presence heard by those around you. Give it your all every day, over and over again.
“Once you think you’ve done all you can, do more. Never stop reaching for greatness; never settle for less than your full potential.”
Concluding with advice on being nice, Porter said, “Show self-discipline and control and be kind. As we move into the real world, become models for future generations. Be a light to them.”
Speaker Rhonda Eakins said to the graduates, “You were born in the wake of the greatest terrorist attack on America; you have lived through a recession; you have grown up with active shooter drills; and now you are going through a worldwide pandemic. You have a chance to become the next ‘Greatest Generation.’”
Eakins said though the graduates have missed out on a lot of things due to the pandemic, they are learning what is essential.
“Think about your community, friends and families. You have people throughout the whole community who care deeply about you and your success,” she said.
“I hope you have learned a different set of values. We’ve changed our heroes because we’ve changed our values. Our heroes are now our food service and medical workers — those who have sacrificed to make sure we’re surviving.”
As the seniors’ long-awaited ceremony came to an end, Kolton Stremler and Clayton Garmon gave the farewell, speaking about the worries the class experienced along their educational journey.
“Now we must worry about our next steps,” Stremler said.
“Though we go our separate ways, we will always be Mustangs at heart,” Garmon said.
“No matter where the path takes us, we will be brave in the face of uncertainty,” Stremler said.
Garmon concluded by thanking the school and staff “for working hard to extend the graduation ceremony to us.”