TURNERS FALLS — Standing in front of his peers, who wore masks and were seated in chairs spaced 6 feet apart, Turners Falls High School graduate Anthony Peterson said he may have been disappointed with how his senior year turned out, but he wasn’t discouraged.
“Being disappointed is one thing, and being discouraged is something else,” Peterson said, quoting playwright Tennessee Williams. “On March 13, our senior year came to an end. We weren’t going to have the typical ending that previous graduating classes had, and for that, I am disappointed.”
At the graduation ceremony on Friday evening, the senior class president told his peers they shouldn’t be discouraged either.
“I want to celebrate what we accomplished,” he said.
Seated in the chairs before him, there was an Eagle Scout, he said. There were actors and actresses, National Honor Society students, acclaimed athletes and state champions.
“Every single member of the 2020 class should be proud of what we accomplished here at Turners Falls High School,” Peterson said.
Friday’s commencement began at 6 p.m. on the Turners Falls High School football field. Chairs on the field were spaced 6 feet apart, and bleachers were also marked to allow for social distancing between guests. In accordance with the state mandates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone was expected to wear a facial covering.
“I think it was worth the wait to hold (the ceremony) this way,” said Salutatorian Brody Trott, acknowledging modified commencement ceremonies in other towns.