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Looks like we made it- 05/18/2021

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Alma seniors Lydia Swarnes and Sidney Hatley spoke about perseverance, wisdom and being open-minded during Alma's 2021 graduation. 

They both spoke about finding your purpose in life.

"We don't realize how fast we are going until we stop for a moment and look back," Hatley said. "Oftentimes, I find myself caught up in being busy and not appreciate the moment. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist. When I'm busy, I find myself just trying to exist."

Hatley, who received no less than seven scholarships, including the Toney McMurray "Spirit of History Day Scholarship," reminisced over the 100th day of school, watching the “Polar Express” in PJs and playing sports.

She spoke passionately about her classmates.

"The class of 2021 will always have a special place in my heart, as I'm sure it will in yours," Alma principal Brian Kirkendoll said. "Two things I know we have learned this year: how to persevere and wisdom. Preserving is about overcoming obstacles and wisdom; man, did we learn about wisdom. 

"We've had to be open-minded, step out of our comfort zone, and learn lots of new things, too."

Swarnes, who was awarded four scholarships, including the "U of A Honors College Academy Scholarship," referenced the class of 2021 as a "box of chocolates."

In all, 137 of the school’s 247 seniors received at least one scholarship. The 137 scholarships totaled $4,005,227.

"We had to unite as one," Swarnes said. "A box of chocolates is filled with variety and different sizes. The class of 2021 is filled with graduates with diversity.

"We have learned to build on each other's strengths."

Hannah Robertson was awarded four scholarships, including the “UAFS Academic Opportunity Scholarship.” 

She said she was saddened over the way the class of 2020 finished. “They didn’t get to have a prom,” she said. “I’m glad we (2021) were able to finish without having to wear (face) masks and were able to have a prom, and that graduation was normal this year.”