Editors note: We reached out to local schools and collected graduation messages to the Class of 2020 from some of our areas top ranking graduates, featured student speakers and valedictorians. Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills students are featured here. We’ll include others in our next issue.
Mountain Brook High School
John Nathan, honor graduate
Obviously, this is not how we envisioned the end of our high school careers going. …
Although this is certainly a challenging time, I hope that that does not distract this class of 2020 from the fact that we are achieving something great: we’re graduating.
It hasn’t always been easy, but we made it here through hard work, dedication and, most importantly, because we stuck together.
What makes this graduating class so special is their innate camaraderie and desire to see each other succeed. When one of us stumbles, the rest of us are right there to pick him back up. …
I am confident that every single member of this graduating class will go on to do amazing things, but my challenge to you all is this: always remember to find some good friends to lean on because a life filled with all the success in the world is nothing if you don’t have friends with whom you can share it.
Benjamin Harris, honor graduate
Whatever you are, be a good one. My father lived his life by this saying and for a long time, its true meaning escaped me. I strove to be perfect, but I have never reached that goal.
Only now do I realize the intentional use of the word “good” in the phrase. The point my father tried to impress upon me was not that I needed to be perfect, but that I never have to be.
Instead, I should do what I love to do. But whatever I do, I should give it my all. Life isn’t about being perfect, being the best, meeting the expectations. It’s about doing what you love and giving it everything you’ve got.
I don’t hope that the class of 2020 is the most outstanding, excellent class ever, I hope that we are the class that gives it our all.
Vestavia Hills High School
Julianna Perrigo, director of graduation
Martin Luther King once said, “There can be no disappointment where there is not deep love.”
When people would ask me if I was ready for school to be over before this pandemic, my immediate response would be, “I can’t wait to get out of here and be in Auburn.”
… I did not appreciate all the little moments of laughter with my schoolmates. I took for granted the love and dedication my teachers put into every single lesson. …
Being apart has shown us the bonds and unlikely friendships we have formed and grown to miss. Although this situation is disappointing, it has made clear how special and valuable our high school experience was. …
Class of 2020, while you may not have gotten to nervously exchange corsages with your prom date, … or focus on not falling flat on your faces in front of thousands as you walk across to shake hands with Dr. Burgess, there are so many experiences that we DID get to have, like winning the Toga Pep Rally, Friday Night Lights with your best friends, going to playoffs for football, getting on the news for starting a petition for no school the day after Halloween (we’re basically all famous), winning the powderpuff (football) game, homecoming week, Sadie Hawkins, (raising) $56,575 for Ady’s Army, hiding the Spirit Stick (does anyone know where it is?), losing our voices at Wallace State, outshining Mountain Brook’s Student Section at every game, and seeing a new face in the hallway every day.
There are disappointments because of this, we can’t deny that, but these disappointments have brought us closer than ever. Let’s lean on each other and come out on the other side stronger. Life will get better, and, just think, one day we will be a part of our child’s history textbook. …
I know that my love for Vestavia Hills High School and the people it holds has only grown stronger through this. We are a family. We are 1Rebel.