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LTTE: Grateful for FHS graduation celebrations

Looking back six months ago, who would have imagined this would be our view today. Because of COVID19 words like “unprecedented times”, “social distancing”, and “flattening the curve” have become part of our vernacular. This global Pandemic has affected government policy, finances, personal habits, and social behaviors—no one has been untouched. When students and teachers walked out of school in March to begin “distance learning”, some of us were still hopeful they would be returning to school by the end of April. When that didn’t happen and all the plans for the graduating class of 2020 came more into question, more a focus, many people on the front lines, as well as behind the scenes, took an active role in making things happen. Through it all, my daughter Ellary’s teachers persevered with their Zoom classes and emails—some even sent snail mail postcards regularly (thank you for reaching out, Miss Susan Smith!).

Parents and students alike wanted to know what “the plan” was—and yet, as everything is “fluid” (another COVID19 term), news was also in flux. Disappointments and tempers were high because graduation as we all were expecting after these eighteen years was definitely not going to happen. But due to the efforts and concern and countless hours from volunteers, community leaders, and school administrators memorable commencement activities were created and executed.

I confess I was a huge skeptic about what we might see or how the school would pull it off — cynical even about how they might satisfy everyone’s expectations. This was surely not the graduation any of us ever anticipated. However… “When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you.” (Roy McAvoy) To see an entire community come out to celebrate the class of 2020 with “Ferndale pride city wide” at a car parade and then the victory lap under the Friday night lights, that is a memory surely not soon forgotten.

Again this graduation wasn’t what any of us envisioned—from the face masks to the car queue before collecting their diploma. Of course, a class that entered the world conflicted by 9-11 would surely be able to collect their high school diplomas with pride and grace. Still, what will forever be imprinted in my mind will be the memory of the faculty lined up down the lane in front of the school. Thank you to the teachers for caring and being a constant Light through all of this. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” (Albus Dumbledore)

Congratulations to the Class of 2020–may you go out into the world and do good things. Much gratitude to the many volunteers, organizations, and individuals who made this graduation special. The following is a short list of those who I wish to acknowledge:

  • Jeremy and Erin Vincent
  • Chris and Brandi Tilton
  • Frances Genger
  • Don and Rachel Pringle
  • Eric Tripp
  • Erin Gunter
  • Diana Gilliespie
  • Judith Zink
  • Chief Turner and the FPD
  • Jamie Thomas
  • Stephanie Honrud
  • Elana English
  • Laura Joseph
  • Amy Bernard
  • Sara Fassett
  • Erek Rensink
  • Debbie and Justin Wharton
  • Marty Moravec
  • Cathy Howard
  • Katie K.
  • Donny Hennigs
  • Shannon Wanlin
  • Sandy Lee
  • Sinclair Peppar
  • Jill Pentz
  • City of Ferndale
  • Ferndale High School administrators, faculty, and staff

Christina and Matthew Boyd
Custer
Proud parents of Ellary Boyd, USMMA 2024


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