Sheltering indoors from a late spring freeze, 99 Englewood High School seniors graduated May 21 during a ceremony inside the high school's gym.
Much of the program highlighted the resiliency of a class of students who weathered more than two years of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, which began during the later half of their sophomore year.
"You have gone through something that know one else has gone through in the history of our world," said Superintendent Wendy Rubin.
Kadence Webber, a senior and keynote speaker, recalled the initial wave of COVID as "the longest spring break ever."
"Looking back we all point out how unsure we all were and how clueless we were at that point, but that truly was the turning point for many," Webber said.
Despite the challenges of hybrid learning and social distancing that COVID inflicted, Webber said she believes it helped her and her class become stronger as they worked towards completing their high school education.
Emmelly Alvarez, the class' student body president, said her ability to overcome obstacles as a student is thanks in part to her parents, who immigrated from Mexico.
"I am proud to be a daughter of immigrant parents because their struggles have taught me and those who share this path valuable lessons," Alvarez said.
She thanked her fellow classmates who she said have taught her to stand strong when it comes to her passions and beliefs.
"Even though we don't all worship or share the same beliefs, we believe in each other and ourselves," Alvarez said. "I am so proud to see the courage, strength and resilience of our class."
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