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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Resilience and Grit Define Class of 2020

Aug 27, 2020 09:42AM ● By Cynthia Whitty

Ashland High School Principal Kelley St. Coeur welcomed 158 students to the 2020 Ashland High School’s socially distanced graduation ceremony on Aug. 2. The ceremony was lived-streamed by WACA-TV.

Thirty-two students, out of a total of 216, who could not wait until Aug. 2 because they were entering the military, going out of state, or for other reasons received their diplomas on June 13 in the high school gym. Others chose not to participate in the Aug. 2 ceremony due to COVID-19 or other reasons, Principal Kelley St. Coeur said.

Principal St. Coeur welcomed students and their families to the Aug. 2 ceremony with these words:

“Good morning again and welcome to our August graduation ceremony for members of the Class of 2020. I am thrilled to finally be here to celebrate with you. While most members of our school community, including the School Committee, faculty, scholarship donors and others, could not be with us today, I know how very proud they are of this class.”

“. . . Today’s ceremony marks the official end of your career as students of the Ashland Public Schools. It is not the end we all imagined when we celebrated your convocation on September 6, 2019. These are incredibly trying times in our society as we fight this serious, ongoing pandemic, along with systemic racism in our country. You have faced challenges and conflicts over the past several months we could never have imagined a year ago as you painted the windows of AHS, making sure to include every member of the class. But you have come together to show resilience and grit as well as a willingness to work through conflict. I hope these qualities will define your generation.”

“Go out into the world with your education from AHS to make it a better and truly equitable society for all, find the answers to medical mysteries, shed a light on getting help when you are struggling in any manner, and demonstrate to all what it means to keep connected, even when things seem too difficult to do so. Most importantly, cherish this time you have been able to spend with family and friends. There have been many opportunities presented to us during this time to really evaluate what it important.”

“I am so excited to see you all finally receive your diplomas today. I am not alone in wishing I could shake your hands. Know that I, along with every member of the APS community, will be cheering you on as you cross our stage and head out to make your mark on the world.”