MONTE VISTA - Due to the restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, graduations across the country have looked different. With some creativity and determination, the Sargent Farmers were able to graduate May 15 just as they had originally planned. The graduation ceremony took place at the Movie Manor drive-in theater. Families of graduates were able to sit in their cars and watch the ceremony which was pre-recorded and played on the big screen.
The ceremony was definitely a memorable, and historic one for the school district. Superintendent Brian Crowther commenting on the uniqueness of the occasion saying, “Though this is not a typical graduation ceremony I believe it is one that we will all remember for a long time. It is my honor to be the first one to congratulate each member of this graduating class tonight. I congratulate each one of them on the many successes that they have already experienced in their lives. They have fought and won many battles, some of them this spring. No prom, no spring sports, no finishing with your friends, and now a makeshift graduation. It is these trials, these challenges, this adversity and tests in life that make us all stronger. I know that these young men and women are well prepared to succeed at anything they do because of these trials. They know what it is like to go without, yet I don’t hear them complaining or moping around.”
Salutatorian Drew Smith also commented on the historic times in her speech saying, “The COVID-19 pandemic will go down in history. We will go down in history. Maybe not our names or our stories, but how we as seniors chose to bounce back. How we chose to rebuild what we might have lost. To keep going no matter what. Because you are going to hear more no’s than yes’s. More stops then goes. So dear class of 2020, I challenge you to run the race. I dare you to battle the lows and the no’s. To venture farther than you ever thought you could. Class of 2020 go rattle the stars.”
Valedictorian Cole Seger offered his fellow graduates some words of encouragement at the end of his speech saying, “As negative as it sounds, my piece of advice to the class of 2020 is this: high school is not supposed to be the best times of our lives. Many of you probably hated it more than I did and that’s a good thing. Today marks the beginning of a fresh start. Whether you are headed to college or joining the workforce we all have the opportunity to decide what happens next. To me that means more than anything that what has happened in the past four years. So to the class of 2020, know that the best times are still to come.”
Guest speaker John Willis also applauded the 2020 graduates saying, “As a world, as a nation, as a community and school, what lessons have been learned? Certainly that is one of the most important questions about any historic moment like this. Whether it is the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, or the COVID-19 pandemic. So what have I learned? It is this: human beings in general, and the people of the United States in particular, are innovative, resilient and determined. I know we as a people will rise to this challenge as we rose to the others. Additionally I don’t fear future crises either. Because I’m confident in the young people that will soon set out to confront those crises. Young men and women like the class of 2020.”
The graduates were able to actually receive their diplomas that evening on a trailer bed serving as a stage. One at a time, and with plenty of distance while wearing Sargent embroider masks, they were presented with their hard earned diplomas. The students graduating this year from Sargent: Nigel Cortright (with honors), Albert Floriani, Bradley Fuller, Nathan Garcia (with honors), Luke Hoffstaetter, Ryan Holland (with high honors), Jennifer Johnson (with high honors), Clay Kimberling (with high honors), Dustin Kyffin (with honors), Riley Lester (with honors), Danae Lucero (with honors), Breannen Maxwell (with high honors), Trevor Paskett (with honors), Micheal Peterson, Akyia Ross (with high honors), Kendra Sears (with high honors), Cole Seger (with high honors), Drew Smith (with high honors), Shelby Temple, Angelica Urbina (with high honors), Alexis Velasquez, Gregory Watts and Noah Young. Their class motto: “Life is a bowl of soup and we are a bunch of forks.”