Brownstown Central seniors move forward



The 2020 senior class at Brownstown Central High School has graduated.

Government restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the school from being able to host a traditional graduation ceremony. Instead, the school opted for a virtual ceremony.

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Graduates were congratulated, and a few students gave speeches to their classmates.

Jordan Cobb welcomed everyone to the ceremony, sending his condolences to those affected by COVID-19.

“It has been a rough couple of months. I hope you and your families are all doing well,” he said. “My heart goes out to those families affected by COVID-19 and the panic it has caused, and I’d like to thank the many people who continue to work and put themselves at a greater risk for infection.”

Cobb then thanked the school’s staff before further commenting on the unique circumstances surrounding graduation.

“Class of 2020, most people will forever remember this year as the year of COVID-19, a terrible year defined only by loss and turmoil,” he said. “But I want you to forget about that right now. Not to dismiss the death and chaos it has caused but to focus in on what’s important right now, and that’s you. This, all of this, is about you.”

Cobb closed with encouraging words for his classmates.

“Don’t let your graduation, the final chapter to the last 13 years of your life, be defined by a virus,” he said. “Do not forget this is a celebration. This is your graduation. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for since before you can probably even remember. This is the cheesy welcome speech you’ve obviously been looking forward to for so many years. This is it.”

Emma Winks was the next student to give a speech. She discussed the changes her class was forced to endure while encouraging her classmates to remain positive about the situation.

“I’m sure you all will agree with me when I say this is not what I expected the end of senior year to look like,” she said. “I was excited for my senior prom. I was also looking forward to attending grad parties and finally getting to have one of my own. Most of all, I envisioned walking across the gym floor and receiving my diploma in front of my family and friends.”

However, that’s not the reality of the situation, she said.

“We have been dealt a big blow that many of us will remember with negativity for the rest of our lives,” Winks said. “Instead, I urge you to keep a positive attitude because there is light at the end of the tunnel. Let this experience motivate you to accomplish your dreams.”

Winks then thanked her classmates who will be going on to join the military or workforce.

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that America depends on blue collar workers,” she said. “To those of you who are headed into the workforce, you should be proud because it is people like you that keep America’s economy running, Work hard and make a good impression on your employers. Do not be afraid to dream big, and don’t forget to believe in yourself. Remember, hard work might not guarantee your success in life, but it drastically improves your chances.”

Winks closed by rallying her classmates.

“Class of 2020, I believe in each and every one of you,” she said. “You will accomplish the impossible because you are unstoppable.”

Lauren Wood gave the farewell speech. She began by commending the Class of 2020.

“After 12 years of hard work and perseverance, we’ve finally made it to graduation,” she said. “Some of you have been waiting for this since the first day of freshman year. For some of you, it only hit you last night that you’re graduating today. But wherever you stand, you can’t deny that we’ve been through a lot to get to this point.”

Wood finished with some advice for her classmates before wishing them luck going forward.

“Wherever you may be headed, try to keep a few things in mind,” she said. “One, keep an emergency supply of toilet paper at all times. Two, wash your hands for God’s sake. And three, if life throws you a curveball, like missing the last two months of senior year, don’t panic. It’s probably not the end of the world. Calm down, come up with Plan B and in the end, it will all work out. I wish all of you the best. Goodbye and good luck, Class of 2020.”

In addition to the virtual ceremony, a drive-thru-style diploma pickup was hosted in the school’s parking lot. After students picked up their diplomas, they were invited to participate in a parade through Brownstown.

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