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Long County holds graduation ceremony for class of 2021
The 56-year-old mother of the star quarterback and prom king sat among graduating students in a cap and gown this week and accepted her sons diploma on his behalf, according to NBC Chicago. - photo by Herb Scribner

The school year has come to an end for Long County students, which means another class of seniors have walked across the stage. On Saturday, May 29, over 200 seniors received their high school diplomas.


The ceremony opened with the invocation from class Secretary Rebekah Gordon and Pledge of Allegiance led by class Parliamentarian Adrianna Morales. Class President Leticia Chiba De Oliveira welcomed everyone to the event.


She made sure to thank the teachers and families that led them through their high school journey.


“Many of us would not be walking across the stage to receive this honor without the care you provided us,” Chiba De Oliveira said. “We thank you for encouraging us even if sometimes we were deaf to your words. We thank you for wishing the best for us even if we didn’t always wish the best for ourselves. And we thank you for attempting to understand us in a time when we could feel so misunderstood.”


Salutatorian Malia Roberson addressed her classmates next. She talked about how high school was full of fun and sometimes “chaos” saying that she never really got to know everyone, but those who did know her “saw me at my best and at my worst.” She also talked about the question all students have been asked at one point in their lives: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”


“Teachers and adults were always asking questions such as: ‘Are you going to college?’, ‘What are you majoring in?’ or the classic ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Starting from day one we had to make choices about what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be...Well now that we are grown up, I still don’t have an answer to that question. The truth is, hardly anybody knows the answer.”


Valedictorian Alyssa Whitesell also addressed her classmates and started with the class motto by musician Bob Marley: “Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living.”


She talked about how they “all started off as uneasy freshmen.” She also talked about the memories they created in high school and how the class of 2021 “lived and graduated through a global pandemic.”


“We may not have experienced the typical senior year of high school, but I believe this year showed just how strong and united the class of 2021 is,” Whitesell said.


227 students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas with 70 of them being honor graduates. After they were certified and officially recognized as graduates, class Vice President Ashayla Perry took the stage to address her classmates one last time.


She talked about the memories they made and how they may not experience some of those things ever again, but reminded her classmates of how lucky they were to have those experiences.


“When we will ever again have a guarantee of chicken on the menu every Wednesday?” she said. “When again we will have the stress and extreme satisfaction of working hard to pass Mrs. Crews’ Economics or Mrs. Walden’s Chemistry class? When again will we have Blue Tide shoutouts that we can turn in for snacks and treats? When again we will hear the warm and enthusiastic ‘good morning Blue Tide’ from Cora?”


As the class of 2021 made their way off the field, they will forever be remembered as a group of seniors who experienced a senior year like no other, but it was certainly a successful one. 

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