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Ashland - Local Town Pages

‘Strong and Deep Roots’ Define Ashland High Class of 2021

AHS Principal Kelley St. Coeur at the microphone. Photos/Happy Wednesday Photography

By Cynthia Whitty

Principal Kelley St. Coeur welcomed family and friends on June 6 outdoors at Ashland High School’s 2021 graduation for 215 graduates. The event focused on student speeches and performances.

St. Coeur said, “. . . It is so wonderful to stand here with you for what feels like a ‘normal’ graduation. This year has been anything but normal. While we are still holding a modified, shortened graduation ceremony it is exciting to be here in the sunshine, with our masks off if we choose, as a united community.”

Referring to the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, St. Coeur thanked all those who made the year a success, especially faculty and staff: “Your willingness to put countless hours into preparing these students for today has helped to make the Class of 2021 ready to go out into this quickly changing world.”

She went on to say, “Today’s ceremony marks the official end of your career as students of the Ashland Public Schools. Ashland is a place that will always be your home. As I listened to the lyrics of the song we will hear shortly and read the speeches you are about to hear from your peers I thought ‘Your roots are strong.’ This year, whetheryou know it now or not, has made you stronger and those roots even deeper.  The challenges you have faced were hard, but your generation has taken steps to embrace what is hard, not hide from it. Don’t let the negative aspects of this year define you, keep looking for the positives, the chances to grow and learn. No matter how far you travel I hope you will always consider Ashland High School your home. This is a year that all of you will tell your children and grandchildren about some day. I hope your stories are about the resilience and strength you gained from perhaps the hardest year of your life thus far.”