VENICE — Venice High School celebrated the Class of 2021 with a graduation ceremony at the Powell-Davis Stadium on Friday night.
“It doesn’t feel like it should be happening yet,” Noah Biggerstaff said.
The night was filled with excitement for the seniors who had the opportunity to celebrate their commencement properly among their peers and family.
“It’s really good we are having a graduation in general,” said Caleb Everett, one of the senior speakers.
Last year’s commencement was held in a unique way at the Venice Performing Arts Center. Four students, and their families, were allowed inside every 10 minutes to receive a diploma and have their name called.
“I was afraid we wouldn’t get as much this year,” Trinity Angelo said.
While this year’s ceremony reflected a traditional graduation, there were still some restrictions.
The 2021 commencement limited the capacity to five tickets per senior but hosted a livestream online for those that couldn’t attend in person. Hundreds of people were watching on YouTube and other social media services.
Despite the limits, the students still enjoyed the night celebrating their accomplishments. Some students couldn’t imagine their time in high school was finished.
“I can’t believe I’m already a senior,” Zoe Ring said.
The ceremony started off with class speakers Julia Demasi, Caleb Everett, Olivia Fair and Katie Nguyen.
Student Body President Katie Nguyen introduced the Class of 2021.
“We not only survived a global pandemic but we survived high school,” Nguyen said.
The speakers talked about their time in high school and their last year and a half through the pandemic.
In Everett’s speech, he decided to acknowledge the seniors change throughout high school and the transition into adulthood.
“I want to tell each and everyone of you to embrace the uncertainty,” Everett said. “Don’t allow yourself to shy away from change.”
The speeches also honored those that had passed. Fair remembered the family or friends the students have lost over the past year, but honored the memory of classmate Andrey Put.
Put drowned off the coast of Stump Pass in October and would have walked across the stage Friday night.
The stadium held a moment of silence for him.
“As we walk across this stage tonight, we walk with Andrey and those we have lost this year,” Demasi said.
While graduation was a happy occasion the rest of the night, some seniors already started reminiscing on what they will miss from their four years.
“I am going to miss my best friends,” Angelo said.
Of course, everyone was still looking toward their future.
“This is not a time for sadness but a time to take advantage of your opportunities,” Fair said in her speech. “Move on knowing VHS will always be your home.”