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IHS celebrates 2020 graduates

Isabella High School hosted its 2020 graduation ceremony at Bill Nabors Field June 12, in what turned out to be a truly great night to be a Mustang.

“This class has had more adversity than any other class in my 30 years,” IHS Principal Ricky Porter said. “We’re here to celebrate the many great things accomplished by this senior class.”

The celebration included recognizing select graduates who received scholarships and various awards prior to the presentation of diplomas.

The beginning portion of the ceremony took place following the absence of honors day due to school being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“What we’ve been through is not important,” Valedictorian Kaleb Tuttle said. “It is all about how we learn from it. We will all do well to remember to keep an open mind.”

Fifty seniors graduated as part of Isabella’s Class of 2020. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

Because the graduation was rescheduled, it meant the class was not able to be there in its entirety.

Victor Gonzalez and Jadyn Spigner could not attend due to military deployment, while Dalton Mims was able to make the trip back home from Jacksonville, Florida where he is part of the program at Tulsa Welding School.

“Always remember not just where you’re going, but where you come from,” Tuttle said.

According to Porter, Spigner and Gonzalez received their diplomas during private ceremonies prior to their deployment.

Members of the Isabella community teamed up to provide Mustang facemasks to each graduate as a going away present to help remember their time at the school.

“Create your own happiness,” IHS counselor Amy Ballew said. “When you do that, no one can take it away from you.”

The J.C. White and Martha Mims sportsmanship awards were given to Dalton Mims and Katelyn Smitherman respectively.

Cole Atchison and Jesse Littlefield were co-winners of the Bill Nabors athletic award, with Littlefield winning it as a non-athlete.

“Three months ago, none of us even thought that we’d get the chance to walk across this stage,” Salutatorian Mackenzie Ratliff said.

Ratliff spoke about enjoying the moment and realizing when precious moments are present.

“I know I would do anything to go back and play one more inning with my Isabella softball girls,” Ratliff said.