COVID graduation 2020 corona virus

Students watch Belgrade High School Principal Paul Lamb on the jumbo screen give the commencement address during the Class of 2020 graduation at the Montana State University stadium on Saturday.

If it’s been an odd senior year for the outgoing Belgrade High School class of 2020, then Saturday’s graduation ceremony was a fitting end for the 210 students.

The wind blew, the sun baked and some rain fell, which prompted Principal Paul Lamb to say, “We’re going out with a bang” to a cheering audience.

It was also Lamb’s last Belgrade High graduation ceremony. The retiring principal choked up during his commencement speech and had to take a moment when talking about his past pivotal choice to teach instead of head into a medical career when he attended the University of Montana as an undergraduate. 

Valedictorian Yanye Luther and Salutatorians Cassidy Howard and Sarah Marshall spoke of their time in high school and encouraged the idea of a wide-open future before them.

Even though students were seated in chairs separated by 6 feet and families were limited to four guests per student up in the stands, the components of a successful graduation were in place.

Families cheered, rattled cow bells and sounded air horns as their children walked  through the line to receive their diplomas. And in the end, students persevered to turn their tassels and embark upon a new journey.