LIVERMORE FALLS – The 57 seniors in Spruce Mountain High School’s Class of 2021 were told during Sunday afternoon’s graduation ceremony to rely on their perseverance and determination from the last two years to achieve their future goals.

The sky was clear and the temperature was hot as their friends and family gathered at Griffin Field for the Class of 2021 graduation.

Around 1 p.m., all 57 graduates began their commencement, led by the Spruce Mountain High School marching band.

Both Valedictorian Drew Delaney and Salutatorian Hannah Coates had the same piece of advice for their fellow classmates, shared by the same teacher, Mrs. Fenlason: “Yes you can, and yes you will.”

“That was her response every time a student said, ‘I can’t,’” Delaney said.

Earlier in the ceremony, Coates said that Fenlason’s quote taught her and a lot of other students the importance of perseverance.

“We no longer live in a time where we can be handed jobs or degrees without going the extra mile,” she said. “As we have done so many times before, we need to work hard to achieve our goals. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

Delaney said that the last two weeks have been especially important for he and others students because, “up until marching practice, it was the first time many of us have seen each other face-to-face in awhile.”

“The remainder of our junior year was on Google Classroom and Zoom calls,” Delaney said. “Our senior year was also far from normal, but we made the best of it, whether it was modified sports seasons or modified proms.”

“I can’t think of a better conclusion to this chaotic year than to see everyone’s face once again,” Delaney continued. “Our class may be small, but we’re going to be a force to reckoned with.”

Coates told her classmates that she is, “eager to flip through the news or read in the newspaper about where life took each of you.”

“Several of our classmates will be walking across the stage today and entering the Armed Forces in the next few weeks,” Coates added.  “To you, I give an extra thanks. Thank you for devoting the next chapters of your lives to protecting your fellow classmates, neighbors and the rest of your country.”

Coates told her classmates to use their “determination, creativity and our ability to think outside the box” during their post-graduation years.

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