The Switzerland County High School graduating class of 2021 will probably go down in county annals as the class which had the most unique final two years of high school — but none of that mattered on Saturday morning at the seniors went through commencement exercises and took their place as alumni of Switzerland County High School.
The class finished its junior year in virtual classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then went through its entire senior year under many COVID-related restrictions.
On Saturday morning, each graduate was given 10 tickets for family members and friends to attend the ceremony in order to stay within COVID guidelines on the number of people who could assemble indoors; so about 1,000 people were in attendance — with others watching the ceremony via telecast by the school technology team.
Outgoing high school principal David Todd gave the baccalaureate address to the students; and high school director of media and the library Stacey Streett introduced 2021 valedictorian Sarah Griffin.
Class salutatorian Keirstan Oeffinger was introduced by teacher Valarie Smith; and Oeffinger and fellow class member Bethany Dashzeveg gave the senior address.
Superintendent Rod Hite certified the class as meeting the requirements for graduation, and seniors received their diplomas being introduced by outgoing assistant principal and athletic director Mark Boggs.
As the high school band played the recessional, the new graduates went outside to meet with family and friends.