‘A Day of Celebration’ as LFHS Class of 2021 Graduates
Lake Forest High School’s Class of 2021 graduated together — with their families there to cheer them on — as a front-lawn ceremony on June 5 capped an unparalleled year.
“The students who are graduating today are not only outstanding, but they have demonstrated resilience, determination, vision, perseverance, and an ability to excel in the presence of unprecedented challenges,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Constance Collins as she opened the ceremony.
On a sunny and blustery 90-degree day, 391 students received diplomas and congratulations from Collins, Principal Dr. Chala Holland, and members of the District 115 Board of Education.
“It is indeed,” Collins said, “a day of celebration.”
In her remarks, Holland reflected on the year’s journey and on how, tensions aside, the entire school community was focused on supporting students during the pandemic, to ensure their well-being and to allow a swift return to normality and typical high-school experiences, like graduation.
“The Class of 2021 has experienced more changes than any other class of students,” she said. “You experienced a year-and-a-half of your high school education during a pandemic. The stories you tell your children and grandchildren will be different from others before and after you.”
“But as much as the pandemic has given a jolt to education,” she said, “one thing remains steady, the reason we have all shown up every single day, and that is you.”
Other speakers were Senior Class President Morgan Bielski and Student Council President Will Elliott, who in addition to his speech, presented the Distinguished Educator Award to World Language-Latin Teacher Philip Woodruff, a teacher who, he said, “achieves the ultimate goal” of all educators, which is getting students excited about learning. Musical portions of the program included a selection from choral honors students.
Graduates, holding tight to their mortar boards, walked in alphabetical order across the stage in front of a crowd seated in folding chairs on the lawn. After the last student collected her diploma, Collins gave the graduates their cue and, amid shouts from the crowd, they tossed their royal blue caps into the air.
“In a very imperfect year, dealing with well-intentioned, imperfect humans,” Holland said in her earlier remarks, “this moment in time is perfect.”