Salutatorian Brianna Piner asked her fellow Christiana High School graduates to picture a future where they are once again surrounded by their peers, having now become everything from teachers to CEOs, at their 10-year reunion.
“We will laugh at old jokes that made the entire class roar with amusement,” Piner said during Wednesday's graduation ceremony. “We will discuss our first impressions of one another during freshman orientation and how much we missed each other during the time that has passed.”
A total of 218 Christiana seniors received their diploma during the ceremony, which was held outdoors in the Glasgow High School football stadium.
Valedictorian Hope Kabura expressed her disagreements with Robert Frost’s often quoted “The Road Not Taken,” arguing that the famed poet did not bring up how the road less taken is often scary due to the uncertainties and obstacles that come from doing something that has never been done before.
“As you walk into this new phase of your life, you have to dream,” Kabura said.
Principal Eunique Lawrence thanked parents, staff and students for their dedication to the “Viking Village.”
“If there's one thing that we have learned from the past year, it’s that the basic foundations of love, joy, peace, patience and kindness mean so much more than the trivial things we took for granted,” Lawrence said.
Edgar Gonzalez-Perez was voted by classmates to speak at graduation. He said that though many started the year lost and confused, they were able to work together to graduate.
“We didn't rush but instead we took our time to appreciate our friends and family, to appreciate the memories we're making,” Gonzalez-Perez said. “We're not realizing how fast the time will go. Being a Viking has taught me to be resilient, optimistic and patient.”
Class President Donivan Drzyzga encouraged his classmates to be proud of their achievement.
“Despite the many challenges that faced students online, temporarily in the classroom, at home, and extra curricular, we strove for only one goal, success and to make the most of a perilous situation,” Dryzyzga said.
Graduate Tyler Johnson hopes to remain involved at Christiana, giving guidance to students at the creative writing magazine he co-founded. Johnson plans to go to the University of Delaware as a communication major with a journalism minor.
“I find it comfortable, it calms me down,” Johnson said about writing. “What I like about writing creative things is being expressive, creative and just expressing your thoughts in authentic ways.”
Charles Wood said he was worried about making a mistake when he crossed the stage at Glasgow High School, but when he walked past the school board members with the diploma in his hand, he felt a sense of accomplishment.
Daewann Stallings credited his friends for the support he needed to graduate, pointing to the pandemic as the hardest part of his academic experience. His goal is to become a famous YouTuber.
“I feel like there are people out there having a bad day or a bad time and my videos can help people get through the day or just help them have a laugh.” Stallings said. “I always want to make people smile, but I never wanted to be a counselor. I wanted to make a bunch of people smile.”
Graduate Saimir Dawkins hopes to become an actor, a dream reinforced by his work in three plays at Christiana.
“I feel like if I get to a high enough platform, I can help inspire people to follow their dreams,” said Dawkins.
Graduate Na’yreeya Mitchell, wore a dual language medal on her gown and hopes to continue studying the Spanish language at the University of Delaware before becoming a diplomatic interpreter.
“I took all these really difficult classes and tried to earn as many credits as possible, so I just feel really overjoyed,” Mitchell said.