May 19, 2020


I’m sure that most members of this year’s graduating Class of 2020 feel robbed. And they have a right to feel that way. For high school seniors across the country and in McKenzie County, the last weeks of their final year of high school were not something that they could have ever imagined.

One day they were gathering with classmates and making their plans to compete in sports or other extracurricular activities. They were getting ready to ask someone to attend prom. But most importantly they were looking forward to their graduation.
But in an instant, COVID-19 changed their final months of high school. With school buildings closed, the seniors were conducting their final weeks of class work online via distance learning. There were no spring sporting events or concerts to participate in. Prom, as they knew it, was either cancelled or turned into a drive-by event.
All they had left to look forward to was their actual graduation.
Fortunately for Watford City and Alexander high school seniors, the Class of 2020 will still be able to walk across a stage and pick up their diploma. Unfortunately it will not be the same as previous graduations as the required social distancing is going to limit the number of family members and public who can attend.
Yes, there will be a lot of things that the Class of 2020 missed out from experiencing due to COVID-19. And that is truly unfortunate. Yes, this has robbed you of something that you can’t get back. But what it hasn’t done is determine how you respond, and where your life goes from here.
This year’s senior classes were but a small part of a world that was vastly changed as economies and businesses were crippled, and hundreds of thousands of people died because of the pandemic.
The fact that these seniors, like their fellow North Dakotans and Americans, persevered through these troubling times is a testament to who they are. And it speaks volumes to the accomplishments that they will achieve as they follow their chosen path in the years ahead.
No one knows what the future holds during this unprecedented time in our lives.
But today, we want to congratulate the Class of 2020. You’ve earned your high school diploma, which is an accomplishment that you, your family and your community are proud of.
Your future is in your hands. Whether you are deciding to continue your education, go into the military or go straight into the work force, give it all you have.