Another graduation during a pandemic
And more seniors understanding how awesome Madison County is
This is the second graduating high school class to celebrate this milestone amidst a pandemic.
In 2020, virtual ceremonies were the norm, and families and schools tried to adapt to honor the coming-of-age event the best they could while following national, state and local guidelines regarding social distancing and mask wearing. This year, many of those things remain, but photos of in-person ceremonies and smiling faces are more mainstream.
We asked graduating seniors what it meant to graduate during a pandemic and what Madison County means to them—really basic questions, really, but I’m always impressed by the answers. Small town graduates always surprise me, and remind me, that the places they come from are remarkable, and that knowledge is instilled in these seniors.
Congrats, class of 2021.
Aleena Bacon, Harrison High School Class of 2021
How has going through the past couple of years of high school during a pandemic influenced you? Going through the past couple of years of school during the pandemic has definitely been rough, but I do feel ready to enter the college world. I had to learn to be a lot more independent because I wasn't able to rely on my teachers as much. I also had to learn how to acclimate in certain situations.
How did growing up in Madison County shape you? What qualities will you take with you in your next steps? Growing up in Madison County has truly been a blessing. I am very thankful that I was able to spend my years going to school in Harrison. The teachers have well prepared me for the next step. I will take the kindness from Madison County with me wherever I go. We really are one big family and that is something that I plan to spread; the world needs more of this kindness.
What is one of your favorite memories from this past year of school and why? My favorite memory from this past year of school is watching the JV volleyball players blossom throughout the season. Watching their growth put a smile on my face each and every day of practice.
Bronwyn Victoria Comer, Ennis High School Class of 2021
How has going through the past couple of years of high school during a pandemic influenced you? Going to school throughout the pandemic forced me to become more adaptable. It was startling to suddenly have your prom canceled four hours before it was to begin and then to have to begin online school almost immediately and be away from all the activities and my friends that I was used to. Then to finally get used to the routine and adjustment of online school, only to begin in-person school again a short time later. The adjustment of switching back and forth from online to in-person school due to Covid cases was a little daunting as well. In retrospect, it has been beneficial to learn to be more flexible and accepting of whatever needs to be done.
How did growing up in Madison County shape you? What qualities will you take with you in your next steps? Growing up in Madison County has given me such an appreciation for small communities. I have traveled to many states and even to Europe and the smalltown community atmosphere is where my heart is. Living here has taught me how to make meaningful relationships with people and take part in the community efforts which I now value. Traveling is fun but for me, the small-town environment is where I belong.
What is one of your favorite memories from this past year of school and why? My favorite school-related memory is performing in my senior play. I've participated in the play since my freshman year, and it has always been a lot of fun. Theatre is a creative outlet for me. In general, I've really enjoyed my senior year of school and preparing for college. I'm super excited to graduate and begin the next phase of my life.
Rebekah Cook, Ennis High School Class of 2021
How has going through the past couple of years of high school during a pandemic influenced you? Like most, my last two years of high school were full of surprises. But I am truly thankful for each and every one of them. They have taught me resilience and how to stay focused on the good, rather than letting all the bad weigh me down. I had extra time to really focus on who I am, and with it, I have been granted the ability to flourish and truly know what is meant for me in life.
How did growing up in Madison County shape you? What qualities will you take with you in your next steps? I have always been grateful to live in a place where the community support and love are as strong as they are here in small-town Ennis. Through being active in the community and working at a place that many of the locals come, I have been blessed to gain knowledge and experience through getting to know them and developing bonds. Everyone here has helped to push me to grow and develop into the strong, independent scholar and person I am today, and that community love is something I will forever hold on to.
What is one of your favorite memories from this past year of school and why? One of my favorite memories from this past year was taking first at State for Speech, Drama, & Debate. I actually took first at every meet leading up to it, and even at, Divisionals. It was the absolute best last season I could've ever asked for. It's a favorite because it reminds me that hard work pays off. Strength and determination will be what guides me in my future.
Matthew Kaiser, Twin Bridges High School Class of 2021, valedictorian
How has going through the past couple of years of high school during a pandemic influenced you? Going through high school during a pandemic has taught me individuality. When the pandemic hit, and we went to online learning, I instantly started working at a local ranch. I had to learn how to balance working 50 hours a week while still keeping up with my grades.
How did growing up in Madison County shape you? What qualities will you take with you in your next steps? I moved to Madison County my sophomore year. I haven't had a bad experience with anybody since I have lived here. Being around hard-working, motivated people has molded me into the person I am today. My dad always told me when I was younger that he was going to have me work for a mean old rancher to shape me up. I never ended up doing this but finishing my high school career in Twin Bridges was just as effective.
What is one of your favorite memories from this past year of school and why? My favorite memory from this past school year was taking second out of 85 teams in state basketball. It was disappointing not taking first, but now that I look back at it, I understand how big of an accomplishment being second at state truly was. A representative from the Sheridan Class of 2021 was not able to respond prior to press.