Bobcats Class of 2021 celebrated at commencement ceremony

Class of 2021 graduates re-adjust the tassels on their caps to signify the beginning of their post-secondary lives at Sunday’s Commencement Ceremony.

Hundreds of Bobcat students took their next step in life’s journey at the Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony Sunday.

For the second year in a row, Bobcat graduates walked across the commencement stage in a unique setting – Sunday’s ceremony was held outdoors at Leonard Cole Field, rather than the usual setting of the MHS Roundhouse. Other than the open-air setting, the event proceeded much like the traditional commencement ceremonies of previous years.

Elizabeth Banakeng delivers remarks to her fellow graduates Sunday.

“We are the first student class to go through a full school year during a pandemic; we made it through because we are strong Bobcats,” said student speaker Elizabeth Banakeng, whose speech touched on the power of togetherness and self belief. “Bobcats, we can accomplish great things if we believe in ourselves.”

School leaders also praised the Class of 2021, as well as the graduates’ families, for all the effort they put in throughout both this year and all of their years in school.

“These students have shown grace and patience,” said MHS Principal Jacque Wyant, adding the students experienced both hybrid and virtual learning this school year, in addition to the normal in-person learning they were used to.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the Class of 2021 graduates carry top-quality education and experiences with them as they move on to their post-high school lives. He said the unique experiences from the pandemic further strengthen the graduates’ readiness for post-secondary life.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, congratulates Class of 2021 graduates as they prepare to receive their high school diplomas.

“Today is a celebration you have earned,” Dr. Schutte said. “I congratulate you and wish you continued success in your future.”

In addition to the inspiring words shared by school leaders and graduates, impressive musical performances also featured at Sunday’s ceremony, including from MHS Band and vocal music students. Graduates Elijah Thiessen and Deonte Dean teamed up to give a touching performance of Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” for their peers and the families gathered in the stadium.

Graduates Elijah Thiessen, left, and Deonte Dean, right, perform Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me”

Special recognitions were also given to parents and guardians, students who plan to join the military, honor students, class officers, National Honor Society members, dual-graduates who earned an associates degree in high school, and students who earned accolades like a Seal of Biliteracy medal or Silver Cord.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! Navigating an entire senior year of high school during a pandemic brought plenty of challenges, but the Class of 2021 Bobcats handled this school year with patience, grace, and grit. We can’t wait to see the future successes of these newest Bobcat graduates!

Check out more photos from the Bobcats Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony below!

Graduates entering Leonard Cole Field are greeted by excited family members
Graduates’ parents and guardians were asked to stand and be recognized during Sunday’s proceedings.
Graduates (from left) Hae Tha Lay Paw, Marcos Medina, and Emily Manis welcomed their peers and guests to Sunday’s Commencement Ceremony. The welcome address was delivered in three different languages by the students.
Senior members of the MHS Band take a bow following a pre-commencement performance.
Graduate Stephanie Zavalza Flores leads a celebration after all the graduates walked across the stage.

For more photos from the Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony, visit the MCSD Facebook page.