‘Resilience, persistence’: South Tahoe High honors Class of 2022
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe High School Class of 2022 had an unprecedented high school experience.
The graduating seniors survived the ostracizing experience of COVID, the threat of catastrophic loss during the Caldor Fire, and waves of uncertainty as the coronavirus again surged.
As one final display of their unity and perseverance, 237 seniors took the long walk to the football field, also known as the stadium on the hill, and later tossed their caps in the air.
“The social aspect was the most difficult part of the pandemic,” said Anneliese Tillson, English teacher for STHS. “COVID was extremely difficult for them. This was the first senior class in two years that experienced a normal senior year with all the events.”
“The pandemic happened in the middle of their sophomore years, last time they didn’t have all the freedoms a senior has, they had to grow up quickly,” added English teacher Ashley Aminian.
Aminian taught English beginning their freshman year and mentored the seniors through their capstone Senior projects.
“The two years they were very much used to being online; being the black screen, not having to interact with other students or teachers and being passed through as pass or fail,” Aminian said. “There was a lot of disengagement at the beginning of the year that we had to work through.”
The students experienced collective trauma that fueled their exponential growth and ultimate success. The traumatically disruptive four years the STHS senior class experienced left many staff and students heavily focused on mental health, campus unity and a resounding hope for the future.
Valedictorians Corinne Goldberg and Brooke Demerall tied with a grade point average of 4.78. In a shared speech Goldeberg and Demerall urge their classmates to take three lessons with them to the next chapter; Be kind, enjoy the small things and stop expecting perfection.
“You cannot expect perfection; from yourself and/or others,” Goldberg said. “These standards were set by not only us but by our parents, teachers, and peers. We never stopped to contemplate, ‘at what cost?’”
Demerall added, “there is always something to be said for pushing yourself to succeed, it can be all-consuming when you constantly feel as if you can do better. We challenge you to appreciate yourself, not only for your strengths but also your weaknesses.”
“I’m really proud of their resilience, persistence, the way they faced the challenges and didn’t give up,” said Dean of Students and Athletic Director Dr. Barb Bedwell who commended the students for overcoming constant disruptions and unpredictability. “They pushed through to the end and that’s my favorite part.”
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