Virtual orchestra

An orchestra plays the Pomp and Circumstance graduation march during Burnsville High School’s virtual graduation ceremony on Friday, June 5.

BURNSVILLE — Burnsville High School’s 2020 graduates are resilient and passionate, commencement speakers said during a virtual graduation ceremony held this month.

“We broke tradition — both by circumstance, but also our own unique response to those circumstances,” said graduate Savannah Christenson, who presented the commencement address.

“Be remembered not only for this historical and crazy year we had, but be remembered for the historical and sometimes hopefully crazy things we will do in the years to come.”

The pre-recorded, live-streamed graduation ceremony aired on Friday, June 5, with hundreds of viewers tuning in for a two-hour program of speakers, photo galleries and student musical performances.

Earlier in the day, graduation parade routes brought cheers and smiles through graduates’ neighborhoods and an opportunity for students and teachers to see each other again after months of virtual learning.

“The power of our unity and the power of our resiliency is what got us here today,” Christenson said.

This year’s graduates were the first to enter Burnsville High School as freshman following the Vision One91 district-wide redesign and introduction of Pathways curriculum.

Before the coronavirus pandemic cut their senior year short, the graduates had already seen big and small changes in the district during their four years, students said. School remodeling, three superintendent changes and strife between the district and the teacher’s union all left an impression.

Board of Education Chairwoman Abigail Alt and Superintendent Theresa Battle also shared remarks.

“I challenge you to choose kindness even when the world seems cruel, to choose patience even when everything tells you to rush and to choose hope even when things seem hopeless,” Battle said.

Alt said this year’s graduates are well-equipped for whatever comes next.

“You’ve shown your passion for justice and your appreciation for the strength that is found in diversity,” she said.

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