Seniors Brooklyn Kimball (left) and Madisyn Buck were the last two members of the class to address the crowd. Photos by Tera Ingraham

Cain Shatzer gets his diploma from Telstar Principal Mark Kenney (right) as Chairman of the SAD 44 School Board Danny Whitney (left) and Superintendent Dave Murphy look on.

REGION — As friends and family gathered Friday to celebrate Telstar High School’s Class of 2021, valedictorian Shelby Thorman told classmates, “This is the beginning of our independence. It’s time to make our mark on the world.”

Thorman also reminded her class to think of their senior year when the life gets challenging.

“Remember even when times get tough, if we can survive our senior year and a pandemic, we can survive anything,” Thorman said.

Her speech was preceded by one from Salutatorian Max Kruse, who reflected on his time at Telstar, specifically speaking on his last couple days with classmates.

Shelby Thorman speaks to classmates.

“I had hardly hung out with any of my classmates that went and despite our differences, I had an awesome time,” Kruse said. “A day that I thought would last a few hours lasted nearly 10. A day that I thought would just be 10 people ended up having a huge turnout.”

“As we all go off to college, work, or whatever we decide to do, I hope we can all learn to appreciate each other and our differences and we grasp the concept of meeting new people and opening up our friend groups,” Kruse added.


In all, 35 seniors received diplomas in the ceremony, which wrapped up in just under an hour.

Along with Thorman and Kruse, class officers Madisyn Buck and Brooklyn Kimball also addressed the crowd with brief speeches to classmates.

Members of the class of 2021 get ready to throw their caps.

“If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us, it’s to appreciate the little things because you never know what life is going to throw at you. Enjoy the little moments because those are the most meaningful,” Kimball said.

“With the pandemic came a lot of new challenges to face, but we persevered through them and it made us stronger,” Buck noted.

The senior class song was fitting given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the tune being “Six Feet Apart” by country music artist Luke Combs.

After holding the event at the South Ridge parking lot a year ago, the event this year returned to its usual location at the Telstar gymnasium, although attendance was limited to immediate family and friends.

The ceremony was live-streamed by Western Hills Access Television and can be found on the WHAT YouTube channel.

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