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The Canby High School seniors participated in the first 'normal' commencement since 2019, through wind and rain.

PMG PHOTO: EMILY MATLOCK - Seniors walk to take their seats at Canby's 2022 commencement ceremony. PMG PHOTO: EMILY MATLOCK - The seniors decorated their grad caps, many choosing to cover them with shower caps to protect their work from the rain.

The rain didn't dampen their spirits. The Canby High School Class of 2022 graduated on June 3, donning ponchos and shower caps over their grad caps. During what the city proclaimed to be "Honoring the High School Class of 2022 Week," Canby celebrated the young adults who weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking forward to the future.

The class of 2022 has been through a lot. As sophomores, their "extended spring break" at the onset of the pandemic turned into two years of canceled sports, performances and activities. They navigated online and hybrid learning and, when schools reopened, wore masks throughout the day.

Now, though, the graduating class and their families came out in full force to Cougar Stadium, not socially distanced and most maskless, to celebrate their moment.

"I have witnessed time and time again students embracing challenges head on. We are a class that seeks out things that challenge us and will help us grow," said senior class President Tate Leder. "Despite hardships and setbacks such as the pandemic or our own personal struggles, we made our senior year a memorable one."

Between speeches by students and teacher Ryan McCormack, voted in by seniors, the Cantalinas choir sang "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac and the band played Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."

PMG PHOTO: EMILY MATLOCK - Canby High School Principal Greg Dinse plays the bagpipes one final time as he ushers in the graduating students.

Another moment of celebration was recognizing Principal Greg Dinse's retirement. For the final time, he led the students onto the track playing the bagpipes, in full highland attire, as has been his tradition during his seven years at CHS.

During his remarks, Dinse paused to snap a selfie with the entire graduating class. As students walked across the stage to accept their diplomas and shake the principal's hand, many of them handed him a signed golf ball as a token to remember them by.

"I guess I'll have to take up golf now," he joked with one student on stage.

PMG PHOTO: EMILY MATLOCK - Students prepare to move their tassels to symbolize their status as graduates.PMG PHOTO: EMILY MATLOCK - The 2022 graduates toss their caps at the end of commencement.

This year, 12 students graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. Many students were recognized for their accomplishments at a June 2 senior awards ceremony.

When the students had all crossed the stage and tassels had been moved from right to left, the seniors tossed up their grad caps and breathed a sigh of relief. And then they were graduates.

For more photos, visit The Canby Herald on Facebook.


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