Finally converging on Cedartown Memorial Stadium for their graduation ceremony, the Cedartown High School class of 2020 was tasked with remembering their past while thinking about their future.
The event, which was held Saturday, June 27, brought about an official end to the school year for the school’s nearly 300 graduates after the COVID-19 pandemic caused school leaders to make some tough decisions that altered how the final three months of it went.
“To say it has been a unique year would be a huge understatement,” Principal Scott Hendrix said during his message. “The class of 2020 is a unique, diverse group that contains a variety of strengths, skills and personalities.”
Hendrix mentioned that out of the group of graduates, more than 120 of them are honor graduates, while 10 of them completed an associate degree while attending classes. Around 90% of Cedartown’s class of 2020 completed Georgia Department of Education Pathways and several were awarded athletic scholarships.
“Excellence can be found in abundance in the class of 2020,” he said.
Hendrix asked the graduates to think back to where their education journey began by referencing the book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” which includes lessons like share everything, play fair, don’t hit other people and clean up your mess.
“I think if we follow a few of these things, we would all be better people,” he said.
Salutatorian Kristi Reid looked back on the different times she had while attending Cedartown High School during her address, from her first day as a freshman to the last few months of going to class before the shutdown.
“Although our last year was cut short, I realize how many memories and funny experiences we were able to share with each other,” Reid said. “In August, the day of the Senior Sunrise, we had no idea what our last year of high school would hold. Although we did not have as many days at school as we thought, we made the most of the ones we had together.”
Her twin sister, Chloe Reid, talked about what the teachers, family and friends had meant to the graduates as she opened her valedictorian address.
“This celebration is not to honor what we have accomplished on our own because it has always been a collaborative effort,” she said.
She discussed how the quick change in how the graduates’ final year will help them as future plans, no matter what they are, will change at some point.
“When life does not go our way, and we know it will not at times, we can have faith in the future. No matter what obstacles are in front of us we have the power to turn our lives around and achieve the goals we have set for ourselves,” she said.