DANVILLE — With blues skies, white tents and a happy crowd, Danville High School feted its 32 members of the Class of 2021 Saturday on the occasion of their graduation.

“This year has stressed all of us close to our breaking points,” Principal David Schilling said in opening remarks. “One of the hardest lessons I had to learn in my previous career as a whitewater guide was that when things get rough, don’t fight the current … about 80 percent of the time, you’ll end up in a worse place than if you just relax and let the water carry you where it wants to go. What we’ve learned as teachers this year is that we need to do a better job of making sure what we feel we need to teach you isn’t fighting against where your life is carrying you. You have been educated in so many ways outside of these walls this year, and let’s celebrate that too.”

“Teachers, parents, family members and friends, in the words of British classic rockers The Who, ‘the kids are alright.’ Let us come together today to celebrate every part of their education this year, even the parts we knew very little about,” Schilling added.

“I know I wouldn’t be here today without everyone who has helped me along the way,” Salutatorian Tim Searls said, “in thanking all the people who have meant so much to me … I’ve joined clubs and organizations and even played a part in creating a few. [Taking] initiative in my own education has made me prepared to do the same later. I feel that I am more capable of making my own path and advocating for myself than I would be had I gone anywhere else.”

Valedictorian Autumn Larocque echoed similar sentiments. “Anyone who knows our class … knows that we do not always work well together, and we do not always agree. Our moments of not working well together are caused by our independence and individuality … I can promise you that every graduate sitting on this stage today has at least one, if not many, very special qualities that distinguish them from the rest of us. You all have taught me to recognize my own qualities and differences, and embrace them, because they truly are special.”

Following the presentation of awards – Valedictorian Larocque was a recipient of six, and a partial recipient of two others of the 26 awards – came the presentation of diplomas. School Principal David Schilling, School Board Chair Bruce Melendy, Mark Tucker and Sarah Welch conferred them, leading to the recessional and the flinging skyward of the 32 graduation caps of Danville’s Class of 2021.

DANVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

CLASS OF 2021

Jacob H. Baesemann, Carlie Maelyn Beliveau, Sara Bell, Hunter Walsh Brown, Destiny-Rose Chery, Jonathan Churchill, Cole Cote,

Ruby Dean, Ethan Jeffrey Gould, Paige Ann Hale, Meadow Isabella Hamilton, Jowl Nathaniel Haselton, Hannah Marie Hayes, Colby Fitch James,

Kaitlyn M. Kimball, Catrina L. Koch, Graham LaHaye, Autumn Larocque, Jacob LeClair, Ben Patrick Lyons, Austin John MacWay, William Morse,

Caleb Grant Nelson, Aryanna Lee Newton, David Richardson, Sebastian Wolf Sanborn, Timothy Robert Searls, Kate May VoganSchneider, Macy Vogan, Ryder VoganSchneider, Logan Jon Forrest Young, Christine Yu

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