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Salutatorian address:

Grateful for graduation, experiences

 

LuAnn Schindler

Awesome academics • (l-r): Kierra Bearinger and Lauren Behnk are named salutatorian and valedictorian, respectively, for Clearwater Public Schools.

KIERRA BEARINGER

Members of the school board, administrators, faculty, staff, parents, family, friends and members of the class of 2020:

I would like to start off by thanking everyone in attendance - whether in person or virtually – for helping to celebrate the ending of our high school career and the beginning of the next chapter of our lives. It has truly been a crazy road to get to this day, but we made it and we are here. Many changes have occurred since we began our first day of kindergarten as the Clearwater Cardinals, then changed to the Clearwater-Orchard Cyclones, and most recently, to the Summerland Bobcats. I don't think many students can say that they have had three different mascots throughout school, so, class of 2020, that makes us pretty unique.

We have many memories of our time here at Clearwater High, whether they be of James flipping a table from an intense game of Witch Hunt; cramming for Mrs. Miller's tests; hearing one of Trenton's many fishing stories; setting off the smoke alarms during the Close-Up breakfast; watching Mr. Birch drop his walking taco at lunch, or seeing Mrs. Selting accidentally wear her kimono inside out sophomore year. Let's just say the memories that were made during our four years as high schoolers are something we will never forget.

We have been looking forward to this day for 13 years. I remember last year, being so excited when we were a just a year away from our graduation date. We couldn't believe we only had 365 days until we got the opportunity to walk across the stage to get our diploma. Little did we know, it actually wasn't 12 months away, but rather 13 months. If someone had told me last year that we wouldn't get to finish our senior year due to a global pandemic, and that we wouldn't get to graduate on our originally planned date, I wouldn't have believed them. I still can't believe that we actually ended our senior year two months early, finishing our schooling all online. All of the excitement for our last prom or last day of school was all gone so quickly. We didn't get to experience many of our "lasts". I am very grateful that we get to have our graduation ceremony today, as this ceremony was one of the things we didn't know if we would get to experience. At least we will have a good story to tell everyone as we get older, though.

As I wrap up my speech, I want to thank all of our teachers and administrators who have helped us to get this far in our education journey. Thank you for pushing us through all the years of complaining to get us to our graduation day. I want to thank my friends and classmates for all the years of making school a little less boring and a lot more fun. Lastly, I want to thank my family for the encouragement and support throughout everything. I couldn't have made it this far without any of you. To my classmates - the last class to ever graduate from Clearwater High School - I can't wait to see what each and every one of you accomplishes. I know it will be great.

 

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