Mount Shasta High School's 2021 grads persevered like Antarctic explorers

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald

Mount Shasta High School principal Sati Shah drew comparisons between the resilient Class of 2021 and the amazing feats of Antarctic explorers during his speech at the school’s graduation ceremony Friday evening.

He said a lot depends on timing, and often, timing is out of a person’s control. The 64 graduates were stuck in the iceberg of the COVID-19 pandemic, much like the ice that mired Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition in 1915. Although the Endurance never reached the South Pole, the entire crew survived.

Mount Shasta High School’s senior class survived, too, Shah said, as he wished the graduates success in their lives ahead.

Keynote speaker and school nurse Barbra Lewis encouraged the graduates to continue learning and warned the grads, “don’t let adulthood stunt your growth.”

More:Weed HIgh School Cougars celebrated 2021 graduates with outdoor ceremony

Salutatorian Anna Bleazard encouraged her classmates to go into the world and “question everything” while valedictorians Madison Brown and Josh Bonivert talked about the many challenges the class faced, only to emerge stronger and triumphant.

The Mt. Shasta High School Jazz Choir, which included students from Weed High School, sang a poignant song that talked about the sorrow the students felt during the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, titled “Me From You.”

More:Dunsmuir High School sends nine Tigers into the world

The ceremony was held outdoors at Joe Blevins Memorial Stadium and although dark clouds obscured Mt. Shasta hovering above, no rain fell during the ceremony.

Yuki Cannon and Adrienne Andrus led the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the ceremony, and they also announced the traditional switching of the tassels. Diplomas were handed out by Siskiyou Union High School District board members Gregg Gunkel and Lori Harch and the class left the field to the song, “Ways to Go” by Grouplove.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation, lifelong Siskiyou County resident.