WILTON, Iowa–This spring, Wilton Junior-Senior High School elected to hold their graduation later in the year in hopes that COVID-19 cases would decline in the area. On July 12, they finally held their outdoor, socially distanced ceremony.
As Wilton’s graduates prepared for their next steps, whether they planned to attend a four year college, community college, or take a job, senior Taylor Garvin encouraged them to use their mistakes as learning opportunities. “Our mistakes will help us grow and change for the better.” She also pushed her classmates to find the silver lining in these difficult times. “I challenge everyone to see this year as a blessing and be grateful,” she added.
Following her speech, Mark Snavely, Wilton Junior-Senior High School’s principal, recognized McKenzie Pallischeck with the 2020 Outstanding American Citizenship Award, and Jacob Reifert with the Outstanding Senior Award and Governor’s Scholar designation. Snavely also congratulated eight students for earning the Academic Excellence Medallion for maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or higher. He then presented graduates with their diplomas.
Senior Class President Scott Martin led graduates in changing their tassels. He also gave them a few words of encouragement before they departed. Martin believed the experiences of this year would help graduates overcome future trials. “This time, we’re going out into the big, bad world, and we’re not just going to survive, we’re going to conquer,” he said. “This class didn’t just survive high school, we came out victorious; our next steps may not be together, but they will be big.”