South Beloit Class of 2020 receives commencement ceremony | Illinois Information
SOUTH BELOIT – Jennifer Lopez, Jasmin Horta and Minerva Ramos were due to take the stage at South Beloit High School a year ago to receive their diplomas. However, a global pandemic did not allow the traditional graduation ceremony they had hoped for.
On Saturday, the three young women arrived at high school wearing their graduation gowns and face masks to celebrate their high school graduation the way they wanted, despite having to wait a year.
The 2020 South Beloit Class had 51 members and more than 30 of them returned for Saturday’s graduation ceremony. That doesn’t mean her life has been put on hold since she finished high school a year ago.
Minerva Ramos is studying primary education at Aurora University. Jasmin Horta is working and Jennifer Lopez is hoping to go to college but has postponed these plans due to the pandemic.
“I’m still wary of the COVID-19 situation,” she said.
She is also concerned about getting accepted into a college of her choice.
“You will do it. I believe in you. You’re smart, ”her friend Ramos said to Lopez.
Scott Fisher, Superintendent of the South Beloit School District, told the Beloit Daily News last year that he wanted the 2020 class to hold a traditional graduation ceremony no matter how long it was. On Saturday he kept his promise.
“We didn’t want you to be the pandemic class because you mean a lot more to us,” Fisher said during the ceremony on Saturday. “We really wanted to say goodbye to you.”
Morgan Guetchow, the class validator, said many in her class have already started college classes or have started their first jobs since high school. She said her classmates continued to achieve their potential despite the pandemic marking their final days of school.
“Even in the middle of the pandemic, we were convinced of our capabilities,” she said.
Ryan Adleman, a 1999 graduate of South Beloit High School and a current member of South Beloit City Council, was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony. He said he admired the graduates who faced these challenging times.
“You all experienced a world-changing situation in the most formative time of your life,” he said.
He said when he graduated from high school his first thoughts were to leave South Beloit. He went to college and then settled in Florida, but soon he and his new family returned to South Beloit.
“I missed my sense of community,” he said. “What I hope you take away from today is the importance of community.”
The South Beloit High School class graduation of 2021 will be on Saturday, May 22nd at 11 a.m. It will be streamed live on the high school’s Facebook page.