Photo by LaJena Gruis

The Sully Buttes Class of 2020 ended commencement exercises Saturday with celebratory flicks of their wrists which sent their caps high in the air.

The sight of the flying graduation caps was a visual reminder of the possibilities that lie before the class as they graduate.

After all the losses the class suffered and the ‘lasts’ they didn’t get to experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduates’ exuberance was a welcome expression of their graduation into what’s next.

The promise of the graduates’ futures was symbolized in the beauty of the day and the closeness of family who gathered at Charger Field to witness the milestone event.

To Pomp and Circumstance, the graduates walked around the track to the area on the south side of the field set up for the ceremony.

Introductory remarks were made by Student Council President Kendra Kleven, who also offered the invocation.

Salutatorian Grant Johnson delivered his speech, noting that “ this year has been nothing short of memorable,” and commending his peers for having “handled it pretty well.”

Valedictorian Shalie Weinheimer agreed, saying in her speech, “We pushed through and kept doing our best because that is what we do. We know how to bounce back, no matter what we are going through.”

Introduced by Sully Buttes Principal Jeremy Chicoine, High School Science and Math instructor Hayley Miller gave the commencement address. Miller praised the graduates for demonstrating strength and resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on their senior year.

With the venue changed from the gymnasium to the football field, the graduates distributed their presentations of gratitude through the chainlink fence surrounding the field.

Guidance Counselor Kris Sweeter announced the scholarships the graduates had earned. Diplomas were distributed by Mr. Chicoine.

Class President Jett Lamb offered closing remarks, and the recessional was to 'Best Day of My Life' by American Authors.

Following the spontaneous celebration on the field, the graduates assembled at the top of Main Street, forming a parade down the street. As they passed, each graduate was announced by KGFX's DT Meyer, the Voice of Sully Buttes sports, along with their plans for the future, and each received a round of applause from the gathered crowd.