Congratulations SHS Class of 2020!
"We May Not Be Able To Celebrate Together, But Together, We Are Cause For Celebration!"
In addressing her fellow Selah High School classmates comprising the graduating Class of 2020, as well as an immeasurable online audience, tri-valedictorian and class chosen speaker, Anna Ergeson, commanded the morning's virtual stage. As all eyes were tuned-in to her on Saturday, June 6, Ergeson, clad in the traditional Viking blue and gold, used the occasion to perfectly sum-up the Class' moment in the graduation spotlight, a topic that had been of interest since mid-March.
As she spoke honest words, Ergeson reminded the 304 graduating seniors, many whom she had experienced special moments with since youth, that although not the occasion they had envisioned, their "five seconds of fame" not only signified accomplishment over 13 years, but proved the Class was adaptable to unprecedented times, indicating that ground-breaking moments still lie ahead. This moment, Ergeson said, was still cause for celebration.
"I'm sure this is not what we pictured when we thought of the culminating moment of our 13 years of education," said Ergeson. "As Selah Vikings we had expectations of this day and our five seconds of fame. Now, our five seconds can be shared with everyone all over the world. Everyone is talking about the Class of 2020.
"We may not be able to celebrate together, but together we are cause for celebration."
Preceding Ergeson's address, faculty chosen speaker and another tri-valedictorian, Charis Williams, reflected on the Class of 2020 as being overcomers. Sharing how the group of graduates grew over 13 years of school and life, Williams said the Class arrived at its milestone because of the hard work it took to earn a diploma. Williams also pointed to the Class' resiliency and its ability to endure, to overcome and finish what was started. Because of this Williams said, she is confident of the Class' impact on an ever-changing world.
"Arriving at the milestone of graduation reveals one thing about us," said Williams. "We are hard workers; we are resilient...I believe the Class of 2020 will have a huge impact on the World. We can show we are stronger and more resilient than any quarantine or crisis."
In his address to graduates, Superintendent, Shane Backlund, acknowledged that as the Class began school last fall, plans for a memorable senior year probably did not include a global pandemic. However, as Backlund spoke about the uncertainty of current times, he praised graduates for their accomplishment and expressed that they must hold to the idea that all situations evolve, circumstances change, and when new opportunities arise, the Class will be poised to seize opportunity.
Prior to the announcement of graduates, Principal, Colton Monti, spoke of the perseverance, and determination that the Class of 2020 demonstrated. Monti shared that life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how individuals react. Monti expressed his pride with the graduates that so many of them modeled the 90% during the challenging spring times. Also, Monti shared the words of a former president, and challenged the graduates that if society was to emerge from tough times, then everyone needed to work together as no one does anything by themselves.
As this year's graduates prepare for life's next journey, they are certainly equipped with the tools of experience to navigate uncertainty. After all, they spent an entire spring doing such. But in the words of Ergeson, who is wise beyond her years, "May we all remember this moment for what it is and not for what it couldn't be. We are high school graduates."
Indeed, a cause for celebration.