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Snowy Peaks seniors celebrate graduation after a pandemic senior year

Summit County's graduating class of 2021 gathered with friends, family to celebrate the last four years of high school.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — The past two years have undoubtedly been a strange adventure for students around Summit County as they’ve bounced back and forth between in-person and at-home learning and were forced to forgo many of the social indulgences most expect in the final months of their high school education.

But now, as public health restrictions begin to fade into the background, the community is eagerly beginning its slow return to normalcy. For the graduating class of 2021, that means gathering around friends and family to celebrate all that they’ve accomplished over the past four years.

The Snowy Peaks class of 2021 marched one by one across the outdoor stage at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, May 26, collecting their diplomas, sharing stories with their teachers, and trumpeting their triumphs over academic hardships and a global pandemic as they worked to better themselves and their communities over recent years.

Principal James Smith lauded the class not only for its performance in the classroom, but also for its dedication to supporting one another and keeping a positive attitude in the face of an unprecedented two years.

“Some of you thought this day wasn’t going to be possible,” Smith said. “You have battled forces that have worked against you, and you have won. Over the past 14 months, your world has been rocked by a global pandemic. In the midst of your junior year, everything changed. Some people your age quit, some students said remote learning was too hard and they failed their classes, and some students dropped out. You chose to be legendary.

Read the full story in Summit Daily

> Watch video above: How COVID-19 is changing graduation ceremonies (again)