Southwest High School Class of 2021 Achieves Milestone
Above, the graduating class celebrate their achievement with the classic throwing of their caps at Southwest High School in Washburn, Friday, May 21, 2021. Photo by Lacey Reeves
Above, the graduating class of 2021 at Southwest High School in Washburn, Friday, May 21, 2021. Photo by Lacey Reeves
May 26, 2021
Southwest held their commencement ceremony May 21 at 7 p.m. The graduation was changed from outdoors to inside after the Barry County Health Department lifted restrictions on the number of people allowed in a building on May 20. The graduates were greeted by Southwest Superintendent and former Trojan, Tosha Tilford. Tilford asked every 13-Year senior to stand up, with 22 graduates. Then every 13-Year Southwest alumni in the audience was asked to stand, followed by every Southwest graduate in the auditorium, with a multitude of over half of the attendees rising to their feet. Tilford’s final words to the class of 2021 were the ever famous quote that a Trojan’s ears have heard time after time, “There’s nothing better than being a Trojan.”
Next, senior Isaac Starr led the room in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a new tradition by Karma Romine. Principal Kenny Ferguson shared with the audience that Karma gave the morning announcements to the school every morning but added her own twist, a joke of the day. Ferguson then had Karma tell a couple of her best jokes. Karma asked Ferguson, “What goes up but never comes down? Your age.” The room busted up with laughter.
The traditional Salutatorian and Valedictorian addresses came next by Travis Sickles and Allison Corwin respectively. Travis had just barely returned from Jefferson City after competing in the Missouri State Track Meet just hours before, earning 2nd place in the 3200 meter, 3rd in the 1600 meter, and anchored his relay team in the 4x800 to 9th. Travis began his speech admitting that he wasn’t sure how he had earned his class rank as he had to ask for help to spell “Salutatorian”.
Allison Corwin’s Validictorian address began with the quote, “Wow, my college speech class didn’t prepare me for this.” Instantly, without warning, a power surge carried through the gym and kicked off the lights. Allison was correct, her class couldn’t prepare her for a flicker of the lights during her well deserved speech. Allison proceeded to thank the people who supported her through her high school journey and even called out to Salutatorian rival Travis, telling him that she “had won.”
Principal Ferguson gave a very short speech about how the class of 2021 had learned to adapt, improvise, and overcome many obstacles in their years at Southwest, including the pandemic and Ferguson’s own first year as principal at Southwest. The graduates received their diplomas from Southwest School Board President Danny Dalton and their tassels moved to the left by Superintendent Tosha Tilford. The graduates ended their celebration with the infamous answer to “Seniors, what’s your number?”, screaming back: “Two thousand twenty one, two thousand twenty one, two two two two, two thousand twenty one” hurling their mortarboards into the air.