Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is celebrating the class of 2020 with virtual ceremonies, parades and drive-thru diploma pickups. Here are the highlights from Independence High School’s virtual ceremony:
What the salutatorians said:
Owen Loker said senior year did not end as anyone hoped or expected. As the pandemic grew, he said time stood still and everything seemed sad and surreal. The class did not have prom, senior week or an in-person graduation. Still, Loker encouraged his class to look to the brighter side and the future ahead.
“While we missed these traditional events, it does not define the class of 2020,” he said. “The class of 2020 will be defined and remembered as the first class to graduate virtually.”
John Lorick told the seniors not to forget the three and a half years of memories at Independence before the pandemic, and to always find the positive in negative situations.
“Coming face-to-face with adversity can be a gift,” Lorick said. “It tests our inner strength and shows us we are capable of more than we thought.”
What the principal said:
David Legrand compared the class of 2020 to athletes in a relay race. He said the school has coached them to train hard and work together and is now passing the baton. The track of life will have straightaways and curves and sometimes they will trip and fall, but they will get back up. In the end, Legrand said, everyone will cross the finish line.
“The trophy is not given to the swift or strong, but to those who endure to the end,” Legrand said.