Class of 2021

Resilient Class of 2021 graduates PBHS
Posted on 05/27/2021
Labryan McDonald

A total of 299 students graduated from the Poplar Bluff High School Class of 2021 on Thursday, May 20, at the Black River Coliseum, earning a total of $2.6 million and counting in individual scholarships, A+ funding and other grants.

At the opening of the commencement, R-I Superintendent Dr. Scott Dill reflected on the uncertainty of keeping the school open during the 2020/21 academic year, as quarantine numbers went from 600+ district-wide at the peak in October, to only three, last recorded.

While upward of 300 high schoolers were enrolled in the Virtual Academy during the first semester, making for the most challenging year of Principal Mike Owen’s career, he noted, the students remained focused on the future in their speeches.

Valedictorian Lauren Robertson made an analogy between a camera and a paintbrush. “A camera merely captures a moment, while a paintbrush lets you control it,” she explained, suggesting to her classmates that it is up to them to make the world a better place.

Salutatorian Clarissa Varner expressed a similar theme, quoting a range of statesmen across the political spectrum, stating that change does not happen by waiting for someone else to take action at another time, and it is better to fail at an attempt to improve one's environment than to remain complacent.

Class president Jordyn Shearrer explained how discovering who she is in High School was more valuable to her than any class rank. “As I walked out of the doors of PBHS on my last day, I looked back at the school, content with the person that I have become,” she said. She added that she looks forward to following where the journey of life takes each of her classmates. “Once a mule, always a mule,” she concluded.

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Cutline: Labryan McDonald proudly looks to his supporters in the audience after receiving his diploma.

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