By Adam Bass-Staff Writer
Graduating students often leave their school with just a diploma, but The Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School Class of 2022 left their school with lasting memories.
Dressed in dark blue gowns with personalized caps, the 228 graduates gathered at the athletic field on June 5 to celebrate the skills, accomplishments, and friends they made throughout their four-year journey.
In her address, Valedictorian Shriya Sivakumar recollected the first time she met her classmates. She said that even though they are now at the end of their high school lives, many things are still the same.
“It’s crazy to think that four years ago we entered as awkward little middle schoolers,” Shriya said. “Look at us now: slightly taller, still pretty awkward, almost graduates.”
The Class of 2022 experienced a tumultuous period in high school. Their sophomore year was disrupted when the COVID-19 virus spread throughout the county and state. Yet, Sivakumar said even a global pandemic did not break the bonds between her and her fellow peers.
“A day off during sophomore year turned into a week, which turned into a month, which turned into about two years,” she said. “Yet despite the miles between us, our class was able to establish community. Now we might not have won any pep rallies, but we certainly have plenty of spirits.”
The concept of community was also highlighted in Superintendent-Director Karen Maguire’s speech.
Maguire, who served as master of ceremonies, told the crowd this was her first time as superintendent for Tri-County and asked teachers how they would remember the Class of 2022. What she found were teachers, staff, and mentors proud of how far the class had grown in four years.
“You might be happy to know that they smiled and clearly—in their mind–they were conjuring up positive memories of you,” Maguire said. “Some spoke about the dedication that you have to your studies. Others said it was the most memorable class of their career.”
While the event was short—only lasting 30 minutes—the adulation and congratulations towards the Tri-County graduates was never-ending as Maguire said they will leave a legacy at their high school.
“You made an impression on Tri-County,” Maguire said. “You have left your mark on Tir-County and you will leave a legacy at Tri-County.”