On a fine summer morning of June 6th, 2020, a soft breeze gently blew away the mist surrounding the peaceful SHSID campus. Greeted by the beautiful campus, the students of the graduating Class of 2020 and their parents started this memorable day with high spirits: even their masks could not conceal their excitement and joy. At 8:30 A.M., the student-produced graduation video began streaming on the Grand Auditorium's screens. It reminisces all the graduating students' warm bonds, their interesting daily activities, the ups and downs of their college application season, and their self-disciplined experiences in the special quarantine period earlier this year.
Shortly afterward at 8:55 A.M., as part of a new graduation ritual, students assembled themselves into two tidy rows and walked down an extended red carpet from XianMian Building through a familiar meandering path to the Auditorium's entrance. While the students walked down the red carpet, their parents and teachers gazed fondly at them from either side of pathway. The students' walk down this pathway may not seem a long one, but it certainly was a walk down memory lane. Dressed in their graduation gowns and looking around at the surroundings that they have become accustomed to, the students were brought back to their days spent at SHSID. In their hearts, the students thanked the school, teachers, and their fellow classmates for all their support and guidance along their journey here.
"Crossing thousands of timelines and thousands of people, from the past to the future, I only want you here with me": as the students stepped into the Grand Auditorium, the tender song "Miss You 300" sounded in the background. With the sentiments of warmth and nostalgia created by the song, the Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony officially began. Many distinguished faculty members participated in the ceremony, including the Shanghai High School Principal Mr. Feng Zhigang, SHSID High School Principal Mr. Ma Feng, SHSID High School Vice Principal Ms. Liu Min, SHSID Middle and Primary School Principal Mr. Liu Lian, Middle and Primary School Vice Principal Ms. Bao Guohong, as well as other educational department leaders, directors, and teachers.
Next, Principal Feng delivered a heartfelt speech praising the Class of 2020 for their impressive achievements. As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the whole world, he emphasized the importance of learning to grow up independently, and expressed his great confidence in every student's future paths. He believes that every student has the potential to contribute to the world in their own unique ways.
Following Principal Feng's speech, Frank Lin gave the Valedictorian Speech and Simona Yu's father gave the Parent Speech. In Frank's Valedictorian Speech, he awakened the graduating class's recollection of the irreplaceable memories they share. He further highlighted how during the COVID-19 outbreak, his time spent at home and away from school compelled him to discover the true deepness of the bonds that he has developed with his classmates and teachers. The bits and pieces of his high school life seemed to form a beautiful melody, touching his heartstrings every now and then. Next, the Parent Speech followed. In his speech, Simona's father gave students advice on their future college life and reminded them of the responsibility that they now shoulder as young adults entering society.
Succeeding these two speeches, the award announcements for talented students began. In sequence, the screen displayed awards that recognized recipients for their distinction across a wide range of areas. From the Academic Subject Award to the Talented Student Award, well-deserved certificates were given to their recipients. Then, the recipients of the annual Social Activity Award, Academic Achievement Award, and Principal's List Award were announced. All these amazing recipients were met with massive rounds of applause from the audience. Finally, the Class of 2020's Honors Students were announced, and they were awarded the title of highest distinction. Of these students, recipients of the Silver Award and Diamond Award were then announced for their achievements across multiple areas. As the recipient of the Silver Award, Lelan Hu was recognized for her impressive achievements in debate. As the recipient of the Diamond Award, Tina Liu was recognized for her accomplishments in the academics and social activities, as well as her excellent performance across multiple other fields.
Next, a special segment followed. Principal Ma and Principal Liu announced the nine graduating students who have studied at SHSID since grade one and gave each of them a special gift. Of the students, Tina Liu also received the Diamond Award for her talents across a multitude of subject areas, her dedication to Chinese literature student organizations, and her outstanding achievements in the Envirothon competition. When Principal Ma asked her about her most unforgettable memories in her 12 years of SHSID, Tina responded firmly that SHSID has provided her a memorable arena to explore a plethora of subject areas and grow together with her peers. She cites her past four years of after-school training with the Chemistry Olympiad Club as especially meaningful, remembering how she and her fellow club members became fully immersed in discussions of Chemistry topics. As she gladly received a flower bouquet from Principal Ma and Principal Liu, the massive round of applause from the audience marked a wonderful end to her 12-year journey at SHSID.
Afterward, every student from the Class of 2020 was awarded their High School Diploma by the Principals. Students received their diplomas with joy and gratitude, knowing that these certificates are a testament to their growth. With the turning of each student's tassel, an end of a journey and the start of a new one was symbolically marked. Students who unfortunately could not attend the ceremony due to COVID-19 sent their warmest regards through a video clip in their mother tongues. Next, to convey the graduating class's sincere appreciation for SHSID, student representative Jenny Zheng presented Principal Ma and Director Liu a gift addressed to the school.
To end the graduation ceremony, all students from the Class of 2020 stood up to sing their Graduation Song "A Hero Lies In Me", produced by their fellow classmates Britney Zhang, Claire Xu, Helena Seo, and Summer Jin. The students' chorus echoed the aspiration, confidence, and passion found within the Graduation Song's lyrics, while expressing their gratitude for their teachers, parents, and SHSID. Finally, all the students exclaimed "Happy Graduation!" .
The students of the Class of 2020 have led diverse yet equally colorful journeys at SHSID. Throughout their journeys, although they have faced challenges and unexpected events, the students have also accomplished great achievements, developed deep friendships, and gained new knowledge! They may have graduated from SHSID, but their experiences here will forever accompany them on their promising paths in college and beyond.
(Written by Alina Zhang Pictures by Hui Liao, Hao Sun, Junfeng Guo and Jiawei Yang Supervised by Hazel Gu)