Class of 2020 has been ’better together’

Staff Writer
The Examiner
The Examiner

Blue Springs South High School

Commencement at Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas

Number of graduates: 457

Top 1 percent: Abby Doll, Evan Hoiland, Sean Nguyen, Jacqueline Wilson, Anna Zweerink

Post-secondary: $9.3 million in renewable scholarship dollars

Class speakers: Lauren Low, Gavin Schaefer

Low said her classmates should remember that regardless of the chaos of the final semester, they experienced the previous 13 years together and should soak in the moment.

“It’s nice to take a break between chaos of the past months and the uncertainty of the future,” said Low, who plans to run track and cross country and major in communications at Drake University. “It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s a little bit beautiful. We’re moving on from the experience, but not the memories.”

Specifically, Low said they should remember the words “better together.”

“It’s especially important in these times, even when we go our separate ways,” she said. “Those two words should never leave us.”

Schaefer implored his classmates to take their experiences and observations of the past several months, and even through their lives, to change the world for the better.

“The standard of the past should never be the indefinite standard of the future,” said Schaefer, who plans to major in public policy at Rockhurst University.

When that day comes and the pandemic ends, he said, “there has to be something to be learned, something to be gained. This can’t be just a docu-series or a chapter in a book.”

The younger generation has grown up in crises and with anxiety, Schaefer said, and what matters most is the human element.

“The Class of 2020 has been robbed of many things,” he said, “but if we abandon each other, we abandon the last four years.

“Our future rests in whether or not we’re willing to step up to the plate and build communities based not on profits but humanity. It is each other that matters most in this world.”

– Compiled by Mike Genet