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CHAUTAUQUA – Friends and families of Jamestown High School’s Class of 2021 gathered to celebrate accomplishments of graduating students over the weekend at the Chautauqua Institution.
This year’s commencement marked an end to the uncertainty of whether this year’s graduation would be able to proceed as normal in the face of ever-changing guidelines.
Tiara Skinner, a member of JHS Acapella, appreciated the opportunity to be able to perform onstage after being unable to do so since the pandemic started.
“It’s kind of like really exciting but also sentimental because we’ve never had this experience so it’s like really nice to do this especially since a lot of us are moving away to college,” said Skinner.
When asked what advice she had for next year’s graduating class, Mackenzie Miller stressed the importance of showing up to school.
“Definitely show up to school as often as you can because there are a lot of days I missed, and I regret it,” said Skinner. “There’s always something new going on and catching up after you’ve missed is so hard. So, keep up on that homework and go as often as you can.”
Abigail Ruth had noticed that she’d learned to value the time she spent at school more.
“I definitely think that I appreciate the experiences that I get to have now more since I didn’t get to have them last year, and it’s a lot more… it’s definitely a lot less mundane,” said Ruth. “I appreciate every moment that we get to sing in Acapella because we didn’t have those extra moments last year.”
Principal Dana Williams, who up until a few weeks ago worried that two separate ceremonies would have to be performed, couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.
“Then, all of a sudden, the restrictions were kind of lessened a little bit, and we were able to come here and have one ceremony with all of the graduates and all of their guests here in Chautauqua, and I couldn’t be happier for everyone who’s going to come here,” said Williams. “It’s the way it really should be, and all graduates of Jamestown High School should have the opportunity to walk the stage here at Chautauqua.”
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