On June 13, the Bishop Grimes Class of 2020 gathered together to celebrate Commencement Exercises in the back parking lot of the school. The unique celebration saw graduates sporting both mortarboards and BG face masks and sitting in chairs in front of their families’ cars. When a student was called forward, he/she was accompanied by his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) to the entrance to the stage; the student then walked onto the stage to receive his/her diploma and parent(s)/guardian(s) were able to take pictures of their student from the front of the stage.
In their remarks, Valedictorian Colby Evans, Salutatorian Matthew Tarby, and Principal Debra Brillante reflected on the last months of the students’ senior year as well as the memories made and friendships nurtured in the years before. Here are some excerpts from their remarks.
“We have made all kinds of memories; whether it’s the friends that you’ve been able to make over the years and the memories you’ve been able to make with them, whether you’ve been able to be a part of a team atmosphere, like being on a sports team or being a part of one of the school musicals or being a member of our band or chorus groups, or whether it’s been some special event or moment that has happened in our time here. We’ve all been able to make memories of some kind during our years here at Bishop Grimes, and looking back at these memories really highlights how great our years here with each other have been.” — Colby Evans, valedictorian
“I know this is not how we expected our senior year to end, but at the end of the day, no one can take away from us the memories that we have made with one another here at Bishop Grimes. From sectional championships, to performing arts shows, to just sharing laughs at the lunch table with each other — these are the memories we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. While this pandemic took so many events away from our class, we need to focus on those memories and those friendships. When I think back to when we began here at Bishop Grimes, we came from so many different backgrounds and so many different schools, and yet we came together to become one family. We cheered each other on, supported each other through difficult times, celebrated our successes, and picked each other up when we failed. But we always did it together.” — Matthew Tarby, salutatorian
“As you know, I have only had the opportunity to work with these fine young men and women for one school year, but even in that time, I have come to know what an amazing group of young people they truly are. We have had a very interesting year, to say the least. Because of these unprecedented times, we have faced many challenges and many ‘firsts.’ But through it all — which included an abrupt ending of in-school classes; remote instruction; social distancing; loss of many senior events, or senior events held in different, unique ways — the Class of 2020 has shown over and over again the strength of their character. Even through disappointments of the last few months, they remained strong, committed to each other, flexible in the face of adversity, and positive role models to the entire community. I know for certain that this Class of 2020 truly loves their school and each other. It has been my privilege to be their principal. Parents, you have raised such fine young men and women. I am very proud of them, and I know you must be, too.” — Debra Brillante, principal