By Mike McClure

In his remarks during last Friday’s commencement, Laurel High School principal David Hudson called the school’s class of 2021 “exceptional”. Hudson also said he was happy to be at Schollenberger Field at Laurel Stadium, which had the home and away bleachers filled with the graduates’ family and friends.

“There are many options on what we could dwell on for the graduating class of 2021. The Laurel class of 2021 is truly exceptional,” said Hudson. “There is nothing you can not accomplish from Laurel High School. Too many times we see dreams as far off things accomplished by far off people.”

Laurel class of 2021 members make their way to their seats as the audience and members of the class of 1971 look on. Laurel High graduates from the classes of 1970 and 1971 were on hand for last week’s graduation ceremony. Photo by Mike McClure

With no keynote speaker this year, Superintendent Dr. Shawn Larrimore gave the graduates some words of advise, telling them to use their wishbone, jawbone, and back bone.

“If you don’t use your talent to build your dreams, you’re building somebody else’s,” Larrimore said, referring to the wishbone, or dreaming tall.

Larrimore also told the members of the class of 2021 to use their jawbone to speak tall or to speak strength into others.

“The problem is a lot of people speak small. They are determined to talk bad about good people,” said Larrimore.

He added that the graduates should use their backbones to stand tall and confront challenges.

“People who stand strong straighten their backs in times of adversity,” Larrimore said. “We believe in you, we care about you, and we love you.”

Macee Turnbaugh, who had a grade point average of 4.539, was the class’s valedictorian. Her brother, Thomas, was a valedictorian at Laurel three years ago.

“I’m just grateful to have a role model, a friend, and a guide for the last four years,” she said of her brother. “Getting to this point was not easy at all.”

Turnbaugh noted that the commencement was the first time the class has been together since last March.

“There’s hope for the future, but with that hope there’s responsibility,” said Turnbaugh.

Heaven Savage, who had a 4.5233 grade point average, was the class of 2021’s salutatorian. “This is a major step in the journey of our lives. We have all worked hard to get to this point and our work did not go to waste,” she said.

“I’m thankful my parents always pushed me to do my best and supported every academic decision I made in my life.”

Laurel High class of 2021 top 10 academic ratings and colleges- Macee Turnbaugh, University of Delaware; Heaven Savage, University of Alabama; Tyler Keeler, Swarthmore; Sadie Hudson, Delaware Tech; Elya Niblett, University of Maryland; Seona Rice, Salisbury University; Taylor Hudson, Cedar Crest; Alexis Adkins, University of Delaware; Kaegen Brittingham, University of Delaware; Joanna Perez-Rubio, Cornell