LaGrange Academy holds 2021 graduation ceremony

Published 9:30 am Saturday, May 22, 2021

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Victory was a center theme for the nine graduates of LaGrange Academy’s class of 2021.

After a previous year of virtual learning, wearing masks for hours on end and not seeing some of their classmates in person for days to weeks on end, the class of 2021 pushed through the pandemic and made the most of their senior year.

“We began our journey as seniors with uncertainty,” Paxton Patterson, the class’s salutatorian, said.

“We’ve overcome more obstacles than many of the classes before us.”

“Only a few months prior, we witnessed our fellow peers with the graduating class of 2020 … we were unable to watch them be rewarded for all the years of hard work and dedication as we could not attend their graduation. We felt sympathy for the class of 2020, but we didn’t want our class to have a similar fate.”

Patterson said he and his classmates were afraid for a while that they would never see each other, their teachers or even the inside of a classroom again.

“Luckily, our graduating class was given the opportunity to participate in person, and it is an opportunity every senior before you has gladly taken advantage of,” Patterson continued.

The nine graduating seniors were Amber Corley, Natalie Kardoes, Brodie Kelly, Andrew Knight, Silas Liechty, Zoie Mitchell, Paxton Patterson, Ivey Portis and Natalee Waddell.

Teachers shared personalized antidotes on each of the students, sharing not only their ambitions but also the colleges they plan to attend.

Students were also given personalized awards from LaGrange Academy’s staff, including the headmaster’s, founder’s and alumni awards, before receiving their diplomas and a rose for their parents or guardians.

Brian Dolinger, head of Lagrange Academy, closed the ceremony with one last word of advice to one of the school’s most resilient set of students.

“Tonight marks the closing of a major chapter in your lives, one that has been filled with many challenges and successes,” he said.

“The most exciting component of this achievement lies in what is to come. Your futures are bright and the possibilities are great. When stepping out into high school, you might feel anxious or nervous, but I want you to know that you should be confident. You’ve been prepared for this moment for many years with the collective efforts of your teachers and parents … you’re ready for what’s next.”