The 2021 school year was unlike any other before. Buford’s students have had to overcome countless obstacles as a result of the pandemic, including contact tracing, quarantine and digital learning. The class of 2021 led the way with its strength and resilience, once again showing the true excellence of Buford High School.
The class of 2021 was rewarded for all of its hard work Friday, May 28, with its graduation ceremony. The ceremony was able to be held in a traditional format, with only a few restrictions due to the pandemic. The graduating seniors were able to socially distance themselves enough to receive their diplomas without masks, so the community could see their smiles as they crossed the stage in their last moments as high school students.
The ceremony began with special recognition of the salutatorian, Vachan Patel, and the 2021 valedictorian, Alicia Ross. The two students both gave excellent speeches full of memories and wise encouragement for the future, leaving students and adults alike feeling inspired and appreciative for Buford City Schools. Several students were then honored for their achievements in academics, athletics and the arts with a list of scholarships that they would be receiving from a multitude of donors and foundations.
Following the scholarship recognitions, the diploma ceremony began with students walking across the stage to receive their diplomas from the Buford City Schools administration. Each year, the graduating class feels a great sense of accomplishment as all of their hard work comes together in one great honor. However, the Buford High School class of 2021 felt something different. Graduating senior Kelsey Crews shared her feelings on the ceremony: “It was just an incredible feeling to see all of our hard work come together from over the years. Especially in the context of the pandemic, this graduation felt extra special.”
This year’s seniors kept up the tradition of excellence at BHS even in tough times, earning several state championships and academic awards. As BCS Superintendent Dr. Robert Downs said, “Not only did this class succeed in this pandemic, but they excelled.”
The BHS class of 2021 has gone through tough times in its junior and senior years. The graduation ceremony was the result of excellent efforts of administration and faculty, but more importantly, the seniors and their families helped to push through the hardships of the pandemic to make the seniors’ last year of high school one to remember for the right reasons.