SALTILLO • More than 200 graduates walked across the Saltillo High School football field during a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 on Saturday evening.

During a welcome address by Saltillo’s Class of 2020 reporter Eddy Garcia, he thanked faculty and staff along with all of the parents who supported them along the way.

“To my fellow classmates, I know the last month or two have been a lot of questions and not many answers, but I’m so glad that we’re able to come together to end this chapter of our lives,” Garcia said.

Valedictorian Eli Hannon remembered the moments he and his classmates shared early in the school year, like the senior breakfast and parade on the first day of school. He said that while they missed out on the end of their senior year, it gave them to “opportunity to slow down and reflect on our lives.”

Hannon concluded his speech with a few words of advice: “Strive to do your best, remember how you’re blessed and aim for success.”

Salutatorian Haley Dean reminded her class that this will likely be the last time they all sit together during her farewell address.

She referred to the Class of 2020’s senior year as “the year we’d been waiting for, but with a twist,” recalling milestones like finally having a spot at the front of the student section at football games or applying for college applications and scholarships.

“From the time we left when our last bell rang the Friday before spring break, a much needed break from the books turned into an extended holiday,” Dean said, adding that a lot of that time was spent “trying new recipes” and “learning hip-hop dances.”

Dean said that while she didn’t see it coming, the pandemic has shown she and her classmates a taste of reality and taught them a valuable lesson – there are no guarantees in life.

“I challenge you to tackle the future as if a global pandemic is going to steal the rest of your senior year,” Dean said, concluding her address. “The rest of your life starts today, so don’t waste it.”

Before recognizing senior award winners, Class of 2020 vice president Jacob Clinton paused to present principal Casey Dye and assistant principal Guy Gardner with gifts to thank them for a spectacular senior year and for working to make the graduation ceremony happen.

Dye distributed diplomas to the graduates before presenting of the Saltillo High School Class of 2020 to friends and family in the bleachers.

Caleb Agnew, a 2020 graduate, said it was fun getting to see classmates one more time during the one-of-a-kind ceremony.

“It’s an experience that nobody else can have,” Agnew said.

blake.alsup@journalinc.com

Twitter: @AlsupTheWriter

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