A pandemic didn’t prevent the Mustang High School Class of 2021 from graduating.
When soaking rain arrived on graduation day, it was unsurprising that unfortunate weather wasn’t going to prevent the Broncos from finishing their public school journey. Whether they walked across the stage or not, the 646 Mustang seniors completed a milestone that district officials said they should be proud of.
MHS Principal Kathy Knowles said there has never been a more difficult year than the one graduates are departing from. She challenged the class to always react with kindness.
“We are all human beings before we are anything else,” Knowles said.
“We are more than our race, our gender. We are more than how society
chooses to define us.”
Superintendent Charles Bradley also encouraged graduates to seek wisdom in circumstances.
While many students persevered, some could not have done it without their support systems, one valedictorian said.
“Being online either every day or for three days a week until spring break was exhausting and cumbersome, but we adapted to the change,” Manu Thomas said. “We pushed through all the way to graduation and that’s an achievement in itself.”
While Thomas learned many educational aspects throughout her time in Mustang Public Schools, she said she also learned how to be herself.
“I’ve learned that I should be comfortable in my own skin,” Thomas said. “The world is critical and filled with people ready to analyze your mistakes and flaws. They will never be happy with you and how you present yourself, so you might as well be you.”
She also told her peers that she learned life is not a competition — everyone sets their own standard. Although the pandemic “sucked,” Senior Class President Rylan Dumoalbolt said it taught many people how to care.
“Class of 2021, let’s begin this new chapter of our lives not focused on what happened in the past year, but what we can look forward to in the future,” he said. “… Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. What we make of it will.”