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Congratulations to Class of 2021

With graduation season in full bloom across the area, high school graduates’ time as caterpillars is slowly dwindling and their wings are preparing for flight.

To commemorate the Class of 2021, The Smithfield Times is proud to publish a special section in next week’s edition featuring graduates from Smithfield High School, Isle of Wight Academy, Windsor High School and Surry High School.

While the annual edition — which entails gathering hundreds of names and photos provided by each school — is a huge undertaking for us, high school graduation is quite a milestone in a young person’s life and we are honored to celebrate their accomplishments.

Isle of Wight Academy had its commencement ceremony last month. Windsor High’s graduation is Friday, while Smithfield High and Surry High will present diplomas on Saturday.

As the graduates convene one last time as a class before heading down their separate chosen paths, it is our hope that they cherish and relish the moment and reflect back on the 12-plus years it took to reach this achievement.

Late-night cramming sessions. SAT prep classes. Elementary school recess. Boring driver’s education videos. Exciting victories on the basketball court. Stunning defeats on the baseball diamond. Flunked classes. Spelling bees. Spring musicals. Book reports. Gym class. Pop quizzes.

And then there was COVID-19 to disrupt both their junior and senior years, robbing them of time-honored traditions.

Every failure and success has brought them to this point. As they walk across the stage to accept their diplomas, one chapter of their lives concludes. We wish them the best in all their future endeavors, as they begin the next chapter in their story.

The graduates will soon find out the difference between school and life. In school, you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021.