Good morning family, friends, teachers, administrators, and my fellow peers, the class of 2020. Today is the day we have all envisioned, some more impatiently than others, on several occasions throughout our entire school careers; however, it is not the perfect, normal day we have always pictured it to be much like our not perfect and definitely not normal final quarter of senior year.
Our lives have all been picked up, shaken, thrown around, and turned completely upside down by Covid-19 forcing us to change the ways we live. As seniors, we have been forced to encounter many modifications to some of the largest milestones in our lives while suffering complete losses to others. Being a spring sport athlete, four of us had to forfeit our last seasons of playing the games we love while everyone else lost the opportunity to attend their last high school sporting events. Many of us planned to spend our last spring break together on the beach, but we never made it there. Our senior proms were spent on our individual couches rather than together in this gym, and we spent project prom binge watching rather than sprinting these hallways. Yearbook signatures? Who knows when we’ll even get the yearbook itself. For me, our senior trip to six flags turned into trips with some of you guys as we ventured to Hotel California in LBL for pictures and Lee S Jones Park for lunch in our individual trunks with our cars in a circle. As far as senior skip day goes, we now hold the longest record of 41 days, beat that class of 2021. Our senior pranks, yes, pranks with an s because they were going to take place for an entire week, never happened. Our last day senior walk through all three schools in our caps and gowns turned into a parade throughout the entire community. Baccalaureate took place on YouTube. We were hand delivered our honor cords two and half months ago at home and received several of our scholarship notification letters through the mail rather than here together in this gym on class night. Now, here we are at graduation, on July 11 rather than May 22, 10 in the morning rather than 7 at night, and with only our parents rather than our siblings, grandparents, extended families, friends, and community as well. Because of all the events that have taken place within the last four months of our lives and their timing, we will forever be known and remembered as the “Corona Virus Class” that had their senior year ripped away from them. Some days I have wished this would have never happened to us, but we truly are history in the making; this pandemic will forever be a part of who we are. As I hope we all do, I am going to cherish these memories made during quarantine forever, but they are definitely not the way I plan to look back and remember Lyon County High School and my time spent here over the last four years in this community with you guys, the class of 2020.
For anyone here that does not know me, I did not have the privilege of growing up in Lyon County. I only ended my journey here after joining the school district freshman year wishing I had the chance to grow up with you guys. I do, however, consider myself somewhat fortunate to be an outsider, an outsider that came from a larger school and larger community. It has enabled me to create a deep appreciation for this place that is different than many of yours. I now call and consider this place home even though I do not live within the county lines. For several of you, this is nothing but a small town and a small school where everyone here knows who you are and the many details about you; you cannot wait to move on and escape it. That is not the case for me though, this small town and small school is a loving, supportive family that I never knew I needed but have become extremely blessed to have. It is unlike anywhere else, and I now could not imagine my life without it and all the memories I have made here. That is what I will remember. I will remember the first time I entered this school building for freshmen orientation, not knowing a single one you, and having one of you running up to me and rip my schedule out of my hands because she was so eager to meet me. I will remember playing cornhole at homecoming because that is definitely not normal; it’s only a Lyon County thing. I will remember the MANY wild and crazy adventures some of us had when teachers decided to take us on several trips hours, and sometimes even plane rides, away from home. I will remember several of the meaningful conversations I had and life lessons I have learned in talking with many of you sitting in front of and behind me. I will remember all the love you guys showed me and gave me after tragedy struck not too far from here, and I lost two of the friends I had grown up with. I will remember having an entire community come together for two our town’s heroes after they were diagnosed with cancer, and our entire class coming together for the sister of one of those heroes. I will remember having not one, but three staff members visit me at home one day because they fought over who was going to bring me my cap and gown. Lastly, I will remember the streets of this county being lined by community members showing us seniors all their love and support during these difficult times.
While these are only a few highlights of my time here, I have an entire four years’ worth of memories of this small town and small school that is absolutely nothing less than a fully loving and fully supportive family. That is why I will remember my time here as part of the class of 2020 by those memories and those people rather than the past four life changing months we have endured. Lyon County High School, teachers, staff, administrators, community members, and most importantly, the Class of 2020, thank you for being the biggest blessing within my life. Here is to one last memory. A picture of us here, all together, in this school building one last time for us to remember. TAKES SELFIE
I will always consider this place a home, and I will love each and every single one of you forever.