LETTS, Iowa–After an unusual spring semester interrupted by the COVID-19 school closures, Louisa-Muscatine High School held their graduation ceremony June 28. Unlike any in the school’s past, the drive in ceremony included a live stream for family and friends everywhere to watch from home.
The ceremony began with Principal Chris Parkhurst announcing the Honor, High Honor, and Superior Acedemic Graduates, who earned weighted GPAs of 3.0 or more, 3.5 or more, and 4.0 or more respectively. He also honored the silver cord graduates, who each completed more than 200 hours of approved service projects in junior and senior high school.
Both Brock Jeambey and Rachel White spoke on behalf of the class of 2020. Jeambey emphasized how students could see the COVID-19 school closures, and the typical senior events canceled as well, as a disappointment, or as a unique time for students to begin growing as adults and to gain more personal responsibility. He also emphasized graduation day as a time for students to look back longingly at their high school experience, and to look forward to the many great things they will do as adults. Through it all, he trusted graduates would value the time they spent in Louisa-Muscatine Junior-Senior High School. “I hope that all of you cherish every moment you had at this school,” he said.
White, who spoke via a video recording as she had left for military training prior to the ceremony, thanked her class for the opportunity to speak, a goal of hers for many years. “It’s been my dream to be at this podium,” she shared. She also acknowledged that her class had one of the most unusual senior years possible. “We’ve made it here under extremely weird circumstances, and I’m very proud of all of us,” she shared. However, she placed special importance of the class of 2020 defining themselves not by how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their senior year but by the things they achieved in high school and the things they will achieve in the future. “Louisa-Muscatine’s class of 2020 is so much more than what we’ve been impacted by; we’re the one who made change,” she said. Moving forward, she encouraged her classmates to strive for success and to trust their parents’ and guardians’ advice when they need guidance.