Greater than 270 Bangor Excessive College seniors graduated on Sunday in a largely maskless ceremony that marked a return to regular after two years of altered graduation ceremonies as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
Principal Paul Butler stated restoring the commencement ceremony to the Cross Insurance coverage Area, the place the highschool usually held its commencements earlier than the pandemic, made it really feel like a ceremony they might get pleasure from totally.
Although COVID-19 was nonetheless on some graduates’ minds, the pandemic that disrupted the schooling of scholars throughout the nation makes up solely a portion of the Class of 2022’s highschool expertise.
Final yr, Bangor Excessive College held its commencement ceremony exterior on the varsity’s soccer area and college students had been allowed to convey solely 4 visitors.
In 2020, the varsity held a drive-thru commencement ceremony during which graduates lined up in automobiles and hopped out one after the other to get their diplomas from faculty officers.
On their first day of freshman yr, class president McKala Kendall stated she and her classmates “walked by way of the doorways of Bangor Excessive College with preconceived notions of what it might be like.”
Though they obtained to expertise important highschool milestones like promenade, standardized assessments and spirit week, Kendall stated they didn’t anticipate spending a portion of their highschool years in a pandemic.
“We weren’t ready to reside day-by-day not understanding when our lives would return to regular, and although we aren’t out of the woods simply but, we had been profitable in making it right here immediately,” Kendall stated.
Simon Socolow, who was chosen by his classmates to ship a speech, stated commencement is time to replicate on how far the graduates have come, and what they’ve endured, during the last 4 years.
“4 years in the past, we began collectively — now we end collectively,” Socolaw stated. “As a category, we skilled the unprecedented turbulence of COVID-19 and its slew of associated unintended effects: distant faculty, quarantine and basic uncertainty.”
He inspired his classmates to think about what they need to accomplish of their lives, and the way they need to change the world with the presents they’ve been given, earlier than they go their separate methods.
“Notice how a lot potential we now have,” Socolaw stated. “Dealing with the nice challenges of our time — local weather change, pandemics, preventing for democracy — is an obligation, a future or a chance, relying on the way you take a look at it. We’re poised to alter the world.”