In a year that followed little of tradition, Brookfield Central School’s Class of 2021 ended their time as students in a new way.
The 19 graduates conducted their graduation ceremony Friday night under a tent set up on the athletic field behind the school. Each senior’s family sat in a designated row to watch the 40-minute ceremony.
Rather than walk in the gym, graduates entered the tent - the girls in heels carefully walking on the grass - and took their seats in front of, not on, the stage.
Derek Winfield and Jaelyn Vleer-Elliott led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance before Principal Carrie Smith welcomed everyone. She thanked people for supporting the class.
Graduate Colt Morgan gave the class welcome. Morgan said while seniors lost out on some normal activities this year, the ups and downs brought them closer.
He got some laughs when apologizing to parents for all the headaches the class gave them.
Salutatorian Alexis Cook talked about the value of normal moments during the last two years. Cook said being with friends at lunch, walking the halls and sharing a breakfast with her classmates near Thanksgiving.
Cook said although not a normal senior year, she wouldn’t trade it. Cook gave heartfelt thank you’s to teachers, her family and classmates.
Valedictorian Matthew Townsend talked about overcoming obstacles, including in his own life. He said he found the confidence to go his own way, adding that it was hard to get up in front of people to give his speech.
Isabella Ayres-Gregory introduced the Class speaker, science teacher Robert Reeder. She said he supported them and made them smile with corny jokes.
Reeder said each of the graduates earned their spot there today and congratulated them. Despite the challenges of the last year and a half, Reeder said, the class stuck together and overcame them.
He said from personal experience he knew that life didn’t follow a plan, explaining how he started down the path to another career before deciding to become…