Fulton High School's graduating Class of 2021 walked across the stage with pride Friday night at Robert E. Fisher Stadium.
"Our graduating class, most of us have been together for like eight-plus years," graduate Lima Sherzad said. "There's that feeling of going away from those people you were so used to for such a long time, but I'm also looking forward to meeting new people in the future and creating new memories."
Principal Kati Boland welcomed the graduating class, faculty members, friends and family to help congratulate the hard-working seniors and all of their accomplishments.
Boland asked, "Graduates, are you ready?" The stadium was filled with a resounding "Yes!"
As were graduates were handed their diplomas, the crowd cheered and screamed as their loved ones were recognized. One parent yelled, "I waited 18 years for this." Other parents laughed and quickly agreed.
Graduate Jack Winterbower was involved in multiple activities at FHS: golf, Scholar Bowl, National Honor Society and Hornets Helping Hornets, to name a few. And though he is going to miss his classmates and teachers, he's ready to start his next chapter at the University of Missouri studying public history.
Sherzad is also planning to attend Mizzou and major in ultrasound.
Class speaker Sierra Milligan addressed her fellow graduates with all the memories they have created over the past years, such as learning the alphabet, cheering on classmates and dissecting frogs. Milligan touched on the fact that their junior year was quite unique due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trading their prom for the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. She ended her speech with reminding her classmates the idea of "Why not you?"
Danny Neudecker — a 2001 Fulton High School graduate — followed Milligan and gave the graduates some words of advice for the future. Neudecker told them that no matter what they do, they're able to make a difference in someone's life even if it's just a small one.
After all diplomas were received, Boland asked the Class of 2021 to stand and recite their alma mater together one more time: " In the quiet paths of learning, thou hast led us on our way. " As they finished, they switched their tassels from right to left.
Boland and assistant principal Josh Pierce then led the class to line up in front of their guests, where they all huddled together and counted down, "Three, two, one." As caps sailed high into the air and photos were taken, the Class of 2021 was ready to take on its next adventure in life.