Having their moment: Montevallo High Class of 2021 graduates

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO — One hundred and nine members of the Montevallo High School Class of 2021 celebrated their graduation Monday, May 24 at Theron Fisher Stadium.

Following a welcome from SGA President Justus Anderson and Principal Steve Bromley, the class heard from Salutatorian Isabella Alexander.

Alexander addressed the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the first half of the school year.

“Our last year of high school has been a year of loss,” she said. “Some of us lost our final opportunities to compete for clubs that we’ve devoted ourselves to. Some lost our final sports seasons, our chances to be captains and team leaders. Some of us lost our final chances to display or perform our art, and all of us lost the opportunity to have the good memories and closure that we were promised would come in our senior year.”

Despite that loss, Alexander continued, it is still part of the class’s identity—and it is up to each class member how they react to it.

“Losing the last year of our high school experience to a pandemic was not what we envisioned, but it is undoubtedly an event that will influence our lives and our memory that we will never, ever forget,” she said. “Everything we have lived through up till now makes us who we are, and the best part is we are not done yet. When things don’t go as planned…how you deal with the disappointments and challenges you face will determine the experience you have and the memory you walk away with.”

Alexander had more encouraging words to share, asking her fellow class members to consider every aspect of their high school experience, both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Expanding intelligence is not the only purpose of school. High school has helped to improve valuable social skills as well as instilled a commitment to succeed. Even if something seems difficult to overcome, having the proper mindset makes all of the difference. Making it to graduation has taught me that if you believe you can achieve anything and don’t allow others to tell you otherwise, what you are capable of achieving is astonishing.”

Class of 2021 Valedictorian Aiyana Race then addressed the class, talking about the different paths each individual will take:

“Some of us will go on to college, some will enlist in the military, some will go into a trade and some may even take a year off to decide what you want to do with your life. No matter what path you choose, just know that now is the time to slow down if you need time to think. Montevallo has taught us a lot about the many opportunities in life, and all you’ve got to do is take one.”

Race then shifted the focus from the future to the present moment, taking some time to celebrate with her fellow graduates.

“One thing I do know is that all of you in front of me are graduating, so I just want to say good job for you, and we did it. Congratulations!” she said.

Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.