Shaker High School’s Class of 2023 was celebrated and praised for its strength and adaptability during its June 24 commencement ceremony. Tears, laughter, and tumultuous applause filled MVP Arena in Albany as the students, family, faculty, and friends paid tribute to a class that met challenges unlike any other in recent memory.
“Amidst the difficulties you discovered your strength. You discovered the power of community,” said Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Skeals. “You have grown together, and as you stand here on the precipice of the future, do not forget the lessons you have learned during these trying times. You have witnessed the fragility of life, the importance of empathy, and the significance of cherishing each moment.”
Among the 513 graduates stood an empty chair in honor of classmate Destiny Greene, who lost her life in 2021 but remained at the forefront of students’ thoughts during the ceremony. A scholarship in her name was announced during the ceremony and her family received an honorary degree.
“Throughout these four years, you have witnessed unprecedented events, faced uncertainty, and adapted to new ways of learning, Superintendent Skeals said. ”You navigated virtual classrooms, mastered remote assignments, and found creative ways to stay connected while physically apart. You learned the true meaning of resilience, determination, and adaptability.
“You have the power to shape a future that is more compassionate, inclusive, and equitable,” she added. “Use your voice, your knowledge, and your passion and compassion to create positive change in your communities, no matter how big or small.”
Congratulations Class of 2023!