Stillwater seniors bid farewell to high school on Friday, and say hello to the upcoming chapter of their lives.
Graduation started at 8 p.m. at the Pioneer Stadium.
At 7 p.m. students gathered excitedly at the field house to prepare for their entrance.
Although the 2020 graduation was held differently than it has been in previous years, that didn’t stop the excitement of graduation.
Principal Uwe Gordon said 387 students were supposed to be graduating, but he wasn’t sure how many would be attending.
“As a principal, there is nothing better in the world than being the last person to shake their hands before I send them off. I have such great pride in them and having been allowed to watch them grow up,” Gordon said.“It'd be nice to see everyone one last time. And that's a plus I'd say, “Devon McWilliams said.
The class of 2020 as well as the faculty, have faced difficult circumstances this graduation season.
The pandemic stalled the original graduation, Gordon described the challenges they have faced in one word. Surviving.
“It will be so hard not to hug some of these kids who have worked so hard to get here and met so many challenges. I will miss so many of them and I'm sad that I won't be able to give them a simple hug,” Gordon said.
Gordon boasted on the class of 2020 and how proud he was of them and their accomplishments.
Despite an unknown pandemic, the students still worked hard and received scholarships.
“This class has had major challenges each year at the high school, but they have survived and will be amazing Pioneers as they go out into the world. They are so strong! It is also nice that they have been awarded over $4.5 million dollars in scholarships,” Gordon said.
Since the graduation took place in the middle of a pandemic, precautions were set up to ensure everyone was safe.
Gordon said this was the challenge, “getting to it and hoping everyone follows our guidelines for safety and respecting others.”
For some student, just the graduation ceremony was enough to make them smile.
“Being able to actually hold my diploma in my hand probably. like physically knowing that it happened,” Christina Burch said.
"This class also continued the SHS tradition of being awarded numerous OSSAA Academic State Championships. SHS has won at least one each year, since the award started in 1992," Gordon said. "While at SHS they contributed to winning 27 over their three years. We won 6 this shortened year. We are Smart!"