Unlike their drive-through graduation in May, there were no fireworks and the event did not take place on the campus of their alma mater, but the Lassiter High School Commencement Ceremony was still a time to celebrate the Class of 2020 and all that they had accomplished. The ceremony took place on July 23rd on the campus of McEachern High School.
Beyond their many athletic and performing arts achievements, the Lassiter Class of 2020 includes two students who earned perfect scores on the ACT, seven national merit finalists, three military enlistments, and 46 students with the added distinction of graduating from Lassiter’s STEM Academy. About 65% of the students earned a 3.5 GPA or higher, and about 428 students graduated with at least a 3.0. They also dedicated a total of 12,000 hours to community service. For all their achievements and service, the students were accepted to 138 different colleges across 31 states.
“Be proud that you are a Lassiter graduate. Lassiter is recognized all over the country as one of the most competitive high schools. My hope for you as individuals is that your years ahead continue to be characterized by empathy, compassion, objectivity, and a willingness to take risks,” Lassiter Principal, Dr. Chris Richie, told the new graduates.
Dr. Richie went on to praise the class for their camaraderie, spirit, passion, and the way they have supported each other during times of triumph and challenges.
Lassiter Valedictorian Emily Patel also applauded her classmates.
“Our class is comprised of some of the greatest people I know,” the valedictorian said. “We all have incredible futures ahead, and I’m already looking forward to hearing about everything you accomplish.”
She referred to her class as “the class that made history” for not only when they were born—in the months surrounding 9/11—but also when they graduated—during a global pandemic.
She urged her classmates to not let the global pandemic be their defining memory of their high school career and to look at past and future failures as learning opportunities
“Whether you are thinking back to a college you did not get into, a test you failed, or even a relationship that ended, or looking ahead to the moments of rejection that will happen throughout our lives, I want to remind everyone that the most important thing about failure is not the moment itself, but how you react to it and what you do in the minutes, days, or even years afterward.”
Before certifying their graduation, Cobb Schools Board Member David Banks left the Lassiter graduates with these words: “Your greatness in life is yet to come. Your journey in life is just the beginning.”