On July 2nd, SHSID held a graduation ceremony for the class of 2022. The campus was now vibrant and energetic again, filled with excited students who were about to depart from here to the next stage of their lives. The precious memories have begun to turn into tears of reluctance at this time, with their clasped hands conveying good wishes to each other.
At dusk, students and parents took their seats one after another as the video highlighting school activities for the past four years played on. Recalling these wonderful moments, the students all smiled. The graduates stepped across the red carpet into the auditorium with the string orchestra playing, and then the MC took the stage and announced the commencement of the graduation ceremony.
First, the Wind Ensemble presented an opening performance. Many of the students in the Wind Ensemble were also 12th-grade graduates, but due to the epidemic, some of them were unable to be there to perform, so they made a beautiful video recording in advance to celebrate their graduation.
Amidst loud applause, Principal Feng Zhigang then took the stage to deliver his speech. Considering the pandemic situation, this was a hard-earned graduation ceremony, which made this moment of gathering all the more precious. Principal Feng reviewed the achievements and contributions made by the graduates during their four years in high school: some of them had focused on their interests and did well in competitions and research, some of them had been passionate about public service and had gone around to improve the living conditions of the disadvantaged, which had made Principal Feng both moved and proud. As the students continue their studies in different places, President Feng hopes that they can learn to "persevere". He used the example of his own school days to inspire them that there are millions of different possibilities in life, but sometimes, if you persist a little longer, you may see a broader future.
The next speech was given by two representatives of the graduates. Emma first expressed her gratitude to the parents and faculty who had supported the students unconditionally during these extraordinary years, and then mentioned the achievements of the students during their high school years. But Emma wanted to say that success in the worldly sense is never the only way to realize the value of one's life, and that even a small change can make the world a better place. In the future, we will definitely face all kinds of difficulties and hardships, but there will always be alumni beside you to walk with you. Then Marcus shared three things he had learned in high school through a pre-recorded video. First, the choices you make determine the kind of person you become, so every choice is important. Second, you always have the right to make choices. This statement may sound counterintuitive, but no one can stop you from doing what you love, and this confidence will give you endless power. Third, success can not be achieved by individual efforts alone, and you can hardly achieve anything big without peers who support and encourage you.
Next, parent representative Ms. Sun took the stage and congratulated all the graduates. In her mind, the class of 2022 is a very special class. It is one class of students whose teachers and parents have devoted countless love and care to them, one class of students who has experienced all the changes and challenges during such unprecedented times, one class of students who has persevered and gone forward. As a parent, Ms. Sun hopes that our children will always love themselves and the world, pursue their passions, read a million books, and travel a million miles. Finally, Ms. Sun hoped that the children would also be in regular contact with their parents, because family is always the most solid support for children.
Following those touching speeches was the exciting award ceremony. The host announced a number of honorary recognitions such as Individual Outstanding Awards, Principal's List scholarships, and honor students. The winning students took to the stage in turn to receive their awards and flowers from their beloved teachers. During their four years of study in high school, students had shown their strengths and had demonstrated what it takes to be a proud SHSIDer in many different fields. Among them, Adelynn and Amy won the Silver Award and Felix won the Gold Award. Emma and Andy won the Diamond Award for the breakthrough they had achieved and were presented with a certificate by Principal Feng, flowers by Principal Ma Feng, and a group photo together.
Immediately after was the long-awaited ceremony to present graduation certificates. The graduates took to the stage in turn to receive their certificates and have their tassels on their graduation caps moved to symbolize their graduation from high school and their departure to a new stage of life.
After the ceremony, there was a heartwarming surprise. Among the graduates, there were 24 students who had been studying at SHSID since first grade. On this very special occasion of graduation, these students prepared a poem recital to express their love for the school and their hopes for the future.
In addition to this, the graduates also prepared an elaborate thank-you gift. As the president of the ASB, Lauren and the representatives of the graduates introduced the gift they had prepared and had a gift presentation ceremony.
The graduates from Live2Drama Club also gave a wonderful performance from the musical Dear Evan Hansen, hoping to spread the message that “Out of the shadows, the morning is breaking, and all is new.” After that, four graduates led everyone to sing the graduation song, which brought the atmosphere of the graduation ceremony to its climax.
Some students were unable to attend the graduation ceremony on site for various reasons, but they were very excited after watching the whole graduation ceremony through online live streaming. Katelyn said, ‘I realize that at SHSID, there are so many things I should be grateful for —— thank you to my friends who supported me in my times of trouble, thank you to my teachers who continued to guide and inspire me, and most importantly, thank you to my parents who are always there to love and accept me. I think whatever challenges may come, so long as I remember those that I love and love me, I will learn to be strong.’
The song reverberated in the auditorium for a long time, and the moment of parting finally came. The host announced that the graduation ceremony was over, and despite their reluctance, the students and parents left the auditorium in turn, leaving the campus that had witnessed their joy and sorrow for years. The young and carefree life for these students has come to an end, but the picture of life is also unfolding as we speak for them. We hope that every graduate will remember the wise advice of their teachers, take SHSID as their starting point, make progress, and create their own bright life!
(Written by Anita Lo 12(2) Pictures by Hui Liao, Hao Sun, Tongyan Wang Reviewed by Qian Zuo)