Congratulations to a graduating class unlike any other

The Daily Ardmoreite

Whether you have already walked across the stage or are just counting down the days until you do, high school seniors this year deserve every bit of praise for their accomplishments. Hundreds of area teenagers go through the rite of passage every year, but only a limited few will have done so during a pandemic.  

Regardless, we hope graduates keep their experience in perspective. 

It may not feel like a big deal to some but receiving a diploma is something that millions of teenagers around the world each year — including American students — do not get to experience.  

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, states struggle to reach a 90% average graduation rate which means over 2 million students in the U.S. each year either don’t graduate on time or at all. 

Your diploma is a document that shows you not only have the brains but the determination and perseverance to complete the requirements set forth by the state of Oklahoma. It marks the end of formal education for some ready to jump straight into the job market, and serves as a stepping stone for many others.  

Whether now or later, your high school diploma will be extremely helpful if and when you want to continue your education. 

Some graduates may feel slightly robbed of the senior year experienced by past and future classes. Sporting events and field trips were limited or canceled, and a level of anxiety persisted as the school year trudged on for you and fellow seniors.  

But the experience is something that only a small subset of all high school graduates will ever understand. Much like the last graduating class, high school graduates this year share a bond that no other high school senior will share with their classmates. For better or worse, the experience was special and unique. 

Furthermore, members of the Class of 2021 were instrumental in developing the future of education on the fly. You helped figure out what worked and what didn't during distance learning and your role in the professional lives of countless educators and administrators will likely resonate for years. 

Your senior year didn't look like any other and we hope you can own that fact. Congratulations to the Class of 2021 for your achievements.