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Graduation is a milestone many students and families anticipate for many years. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has shattered senior year excitement for high school and college students as they miss out on meaningful moments such as prom and graduation.

Because of COVID-19, most traditional graduation ceremonies have been postponed, transformed into a drive-thru or aren't happening this year, but it doesn't mean the grads' hard work shouldn't be acknowledged.

2020 graduates should feel especially accomplished as they have completed the school year amidst a pandemic that has disrupted the school year around the world, causing mass anxiety and concern.

When the coronavirus forced schools to close, the Class of 2020 persevered. You adapted quickly to online learning and to a world where we all stayed indoors and learned new ways to connect.

I know that many of you have successfully navigated challenging situations in the past, and while the pandemic is certainly historic and unique, I am confident that we will be a resilient community and that each of you will not only persevere, but learn from this experience.

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Everyone wants success, but it only meets those who make a true approach to it. Although we're living in an unknown world at this time, persistence and dedication will always lead you to success.

Lafayette Woods, Jr. Sheriff