The Class of 2020 has been special from the start. We have been told for 18 years that we are capable of doing anything and that we will go on to do big things. Of course, that may be true, but nearly every child is told that the moment they step into a school building for the first time.

Our class is different, however. We are the class of 2020. This is the point at which you all might expect me to flood your ears with some of the many clichés we’ve all seen on social media about how we were born on the heels of 9/11 and are graduating during a pandemic. But I want to take you on a different route. When I say the Class of 2020 is special, yes, I do mean the entire Class of 2020 is special, but Lyon County’s Class of 2020 is especially special.

We are the class that, in elementary school, would receive remarks from the kids in other grades leaning over our shoulders as we punched out our computer logins about how cool it was that our usernames began with 2020. We would proudly grin back at them and say, “I know.” But I can truthfully tell you that, at the time, most of us didn’t know what that 2020 even meant. To us, it wasn’t much more than a cool number. Nevertheless, we carried it proudly.

We are the class that was the first to go all three years in the second new middle school building after the one before had to be torn down, and we successfully avoided having middle school classes in the fifth grade hall.

We are the class that served as guinea pigs for Lyon County’s first KYA and are now full-blown veterans of it.

We are the class that had a desk broken in one English class and a desk thrown in another.

We are the class that nearly killed Mrs. Drennon’s guinea pigs. Don’t worry, they were fine.

We are the class that had two state officers in two different clubs. You’re welcome, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Guzik.

We are the class that rearranged Mr. Lowery’s room – a terrible idea, really.

We are the class that put together the best prom ever. The planning was a nightmare, but the decorating was worthy of a five-star rating.

We are the class that was constantly bursting out into song in class. Sometimes the teachers actually joined, but many times we were asked to stop.

We are the class that had a redneck slip ’n’ slide on the last day on junior year.

We are the class that had daily gossip sessions with Mrs. Page and still successfully made it through AP biology.

We are the class that nearly gave Mrs. Howe a heart attack every single day, whether it was over not showing our work or not being quiet.

We are the class with pet goats, pet ducks, pet chinchillas, pet cows, pet raccoons, pet pigs…

We are the class that required more than a dozen donuts on test day in Mrs. Simmons’s APUSH class.

We are the class that collectively has almost zero athletic ability but has the most fun with it.

We are the class that drove Mr. Thomas up the wall, but he still loves us the most.

We are the first class that had four applicants accepted into the Governor’s Scholars Program.

We are the class that spent more time in the office talking to Mrs. Belinda and Mrs. Dalbey than was probably appropriate.

We are the class that gets to graduate with Mr. Jim and Mrs. Julie Williams. You are both legends here.

We are the class that welcomed any new kid with open arms.

We are the class that is more like a family than any other class that LC has seen.

We are the class of future designers, nurses, morticians, soldiers, electricians, doctors, welders, and a whole lot of teachers.

We are the class that never got a senior trip, senior skip day, senior walk, senior prom, traditional baccalaureate, traditional class night, or traditional graduation.

But we are the class that has courage, strength, and the ability to conquer everything that comes our way.

Fellow graduates, we are so much more than just the class that had so much taken from them and survived it. We were expected to simply be upset about our circumstances and carry on with a virtual graduation, but the Lyon County Class of 2020 will not even let a global pandemic stop us from achieving our goals. Here we are, thanks to our wonderful administration, gathered together for an in-person graduation while most schools are graduating on Zoom and live streams. Little did we know when we first typed “2020, first initial, last name” that the next thirteen years would be anything but normal. We now know what that cool number at the beginning of our computer logins really means, and we have every right to be so proud of it. We have exceeded all expectations, just as we have always done and will continue to do for the rest of our lives. No other class has ever been like us nor will there ever be one that is.

We are the class that is the exception, not the rule. We are the Class of 2020.