“Distance doesn’t stop us:” Perseverance is the theme during high school graduation

YERMO, Calif. — Breaking with last year’s, socially distant drive-through graduation, Silver Valley High School held an outdoor, in-person commencement, in which the graduating class of 2021 was able to graduate together.

“Last year’s commencement was great, but this year’s commencement was greater,” said Michael Sullivan, Principal of Silver Valley High School. “Everyone worked together to honor all the students here graduating.”

In total, 73 students graduated from Silver Valley High School, more than 30 of which came from Fort Irwin. The graduating seniors were gifted a senior hoodie, a SVHS cup, a duffle bag and even their own SVHS-branded lawn chairs.

“While the Class of 2020 missed out on the last three months of their senior year, we did not have a typical senior year,” Valedictorian, Faith Nelson, said in her speech. “If this academic year has taught us anything, it’s that distance doesn’t stop us.”

Perseverance was a common theme throughout the day.

“What do you say to a group, where all their achievements are already an inspiration to themselves?” said keynote speaker and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Fedorisin. “If everybody was an astronaut, there would be nobody to fuel the ship. Treat others the way you wish to be treated, make sure to tell folks thank you, and take pride in everything you do. As you look back at your time in high school, do not look at it from a negative perspective– embrace it as the outstanding achievement that it is and say despite everything that is going on in the world, I thrived.”

Despite the global pandemic, the staff and faculty of Silver Valley High School urged the graduating seniors to stay in touch with not only their classmates, but with their educators as well.

“To the graduating class of 2021, there is a saying, ‘iron sharpens iron,’ Sullivan said. “Keep in touch with each other, and if there is anything you need, know that the staff of Silver Valley High School will be here for you.”

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