YELLOW SPRINGS — The class of 59 seniors at Yellow Springs High School will walk across the stage and receive their diplomas Thursday, May 27.
Of those 59 graduates, 32 plan to attend college, five students are enlisting in the military, and 22 are going straight into the workforce, an apprenticeship, or other path.
The class of 2021 has been awarded $2,380,614 in scholarships.
Yellow Springs uses Latin honors rather than valedictorian and salutatorian distinctions. The seven students that graduated summa cum laude are Finn Bledsoe, Natalie Galarza, Haneefah Jones, Liam Hackett, Ian Sherk, Galen Sieck, and Samantha Snyder.
The village’s graduation ceremony will be held outdoors this year, with a parade and community “clap out.” The school will livestream the ceremony online, as well as on large screens at the event, so families can better see their graduates as they walk across the stage.
The formatting choices for this year’s ceremony are informed by a year of adaptations to COVID-19. Yellow Springs’ 2020 graduation was held in a drive-through parade format. The past year was an opportunity for school administrators to look at how they operate and administer to their students, according to Yellow Springs Principal Jack Hatert.
“A pandemic is an opportunity to question everything,” Hatert said. “Looking at what traditions we will carry forward, and just being creative and being flexible.”
Not only was the pandemic an opportunity for the staff to refocus, but for students, their experience over the past year will shape their careers going forward.
“Brick and mortar colleges have been evolving into an online format for the past several years. The pandemic expedited that process,” Hatert said. “Our students this year experienced school in a few different formats, so going through that transition and that process I think will serve them well.”
Hatert served this group of graduates as their teacher in seventh grade.
”I have a lot of fond memories of this group,” he said. “They’re a unique bunch. I encourage them to keep challenging norms and following their passions. I’d like to thank them for years of good memories.”
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.