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A happy ending to a tumultuous year

SE Valley bids farewell to 65 graduates

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Members of the Southeast Valley High School Class of 2021 file into the gym for the graduation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

GOWRIE — Get ready, world, because the Class of 2021 is coming for you.

The 65 Southeast Valley High School graduates for the Class of 2021 crossed the stage in the high school gym in Gowrie on Sunday afternoon, in front of friends, family and loved ones — something they weren’t sure was going to happen when the school year started.

“This is a big celebration, a happy end to a tumultuous year — a year that ended with a lot more hope than we had this time last year,” said Principal Kerry Ketcham, welcoming the graduates to the commencement ceremony.

Senior Class President Morgan Farnham delivered the first of the class speeches.

“Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for for the past 13 years — graduation,” she said. “We survived our freshman year and our sophomore year, somehow. Then our junior year was cut short, our lives flipped upside down.”

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Southeast Valley senior class president Morgan Farnham delivers her class speech during the Southeast Valley High School graduation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused schools across the country to close early in the spring of 2020 over virus concerns. Even as the school year started in the fall, COVID-19 was still a big presence as students returned to the classroom.

Farnham noted that despite COVID-19, the Southeast Valley senior class was able to make the best of their final year of high school.

“High school is about the little things,” Farnham said. “The moments that don’t seem like they mean much, but five years down the road, they will mean everything.”

Jonah Siebert, another class speaker, noted the challenges the members of the small class faced together — including a classmate’s battle with bone cancer.

“We survived,” class speaker Jonah Siebert said in his address. “We’re here. The Class of 2021 survived … we crushed it.”

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Southeast Valley graduate Kiersten Fisher helps classmate Haley Frazier straighten her graduation cap tassel.

With these new 65 high school graduates heading out into the world — some to college, some to the military and some into the workforce — Siebert gave a warning to the world.

“The Class of 2021 is coming for you,” he said. “Are you ready for us?”

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Southeast Valley graduate Jonah Siebert wears light-up sneakers as he walks on stage to deliver his class speech during the Southeast Valley High School graduation in Gowrie on Sunday afternoon.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
The Southeast Valley High School Senior Choir performs "Exsultate! Jubilate!" during the graduation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

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