A sea of graduates dressed in royal blue gowns filled the front rows of the Drendel Auditorium for the Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School graduation Friday afternoon.
Atop their heads, square graduation caps marked the special occasion. Many were adorned with colorful messages that included rhinestones, flowers, pictures and quotes.
One read “Finally done.” Another said “I did it.” One covered in golden polka-dots read “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
The seniors had to persist through a difficult year to reach graduation, student speaker Amelia Schlosser said during the ceremony. The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges, but the 41 graduating seniors made it through.
Schlosser encouraged her fellow students to reflect on their experiences as they move forward in life.
“When you find yourself doubting just how far you can go, look back to see how far you’ve already come,” she said.
Fellow student speaker Satchel James wished his classmates happiness as they move into the next phase of their lives. He hoped nothing would stop them from achieving their dreams.
Keynote speaker Garrett Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College, spoke about making good choices in life, and learning from bad ones.