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Keith High bids farewell to Class of 2020

Keith High School held its graduation ceremony on Friday night at J.V. Caldwell Stadium in Orrville.

Thirty-six seniors received their diplomas before close family and faculty members in a limited program because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several spectators watched the ceremony outside the stadium and loudly cheered for the Class of 2020.

Class Valedictorian Kayilah Williams said she was grateful for the ceremony, but sad because her grandparents, Albert Collins, Brenda Collins and Mattie Williams, couldn’t attend.

“I’m their oldest grandchild and the first grandchild to graduate from high school,” said Williams, who will attend Wallace Community College-Selma next year. “I wanted my grandparents here and my other family members watch me graduate.”

Class Salutatorian Alexis Hall, who will major in Biology at Stillman College, spoke about the future.

“It’s about setting goals and being positive about the future,” Hall said. “I’m really happy to finish as Salutatorian because I worked so hard for this.”

Hall also expressed disappointment that the coronavirus cut the school year short on March 13 when Gov. Kay Ivey ordered the closing of K-12 schools statewide.

“It was so frustrating because we didn’t get a chance to have a prom, a senior class trip and last day of school,” Hall said.

The Keith High seniors expressed gratitude that the Keith High faculty, led by Principal Tommy Tisdale Jr., assured they would get a ceremony.