Medina celebrates Class of 2021 with parade of graduates, senior breakfast

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 June 2021 at 11:09 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The Class of 2021 was celebrated this morning in a senior walk, with teachers and the entire students body applauding them for their upcoming graduation.

Ianah Drisdom and Sophia Cardone are in the senior walk this morning, when members of the Class of 2021 walked from the high school and then by the track, past the Wise Middle School and then past the Oak Orchard Elementary School. The entire student body from the elementary, middle and high schools formed a tunnel and applauded the class. They carried signs with their future plans. Drisdom aspires to be a pediatrician and Cardone is headed to Ohio University.

Savanah Burns and about 125 members of the Class 2021 participate in the senior walk this morning. In the past students have walked through the hallways in the three school buildings. Last year there wasn’t a senior walk. This year it was moved outside on the sidewalk from the high school to the middle school and the elementary school.

Devin Griffin and Abby Blount are both headed to college next year, with Griffin going to Cortland State and Blount off to Fredonia State.

Emma Carson and Sydney Watts enjoy the senior walk this morning. Carson is planning to attend Daemon College and Watts is headed to Oswego State College.

High School Principal Michael Cavanagh led the class in the walk along the sidewalk. They are wearing tie-dyed shirts that were donated by a parent group for the Class of 2021.

Parker Clewell and Makayla Heideman join their classmates in the parade of graduates this morning. Clewell is headed to Niagara County Community College and Heideman is going to Genesee Community College.

After the senior walk, the class was treated to a breakfast by parents at the Shelby Volunteer Fire Hall.

Tyler Chinn is in line for scrambled eggs and pancakes at the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company.

A Medina parent group with the Class of 2021 treated the class to breakfast this morning.

The parent group also raised money for a goodie bag that was delivered by teachers to each of the class members. The goodie bag included a yard sign, the tie-dyed shirt worn today, draw-string backpacks, and other donations from the community, including coupons for a free pizza at Mark’s Pizzeria.

The parent group used some of the donated money to help with prom costs last Friday, which was held at the Lockport Country Club.

Those donations covered prom favors, desserts and the cost for valet parking.

A group of parents decorated the fire hall for today’s breakfast.

Corinne Hill, one of the seniors, is grateful to be with her classmates for some activities as they close out their school careers. Hill has been a fully remote student since March 2020. She will be attending Daemon College to study to be a physician’s assistant.

“I’m glad we’re able to get back to normal,” she said after the senior walk and just before a senior breakfast at the Shelby fire hall. “It has been a disjointed year.”

She said the community and parents of the students have embraced the senior class to acknowledge a challenging year due to Covid-19. Medina’s High School was on a hybrid school until June 1, with one group of students in-person for two days, and another group on alternating two days. Wednesdays were fully remote for all students, with some students fully remote all five days.

The parent group sent goodie bags to students and Hill said that “homey feeling” was appreciated.

These seniors are happy to chat before the breakfast this morning. The class has;t been able to attend school together until June 1. Before that there was a hybrid schedule and many others were fully remote.

Jaden Pencille also appreciates the flurry of activities connecting the class the last month of their school careers. He was 100 percent remote until coming back for in-person classes on June 1.

“I really missed my teachers and classmates,” Pencille said. “Being here today is really bittersweet because I wish we had this all year. It’s really unfortunate that this is just a taste of what we could have experienced the past eight months.”

Pencille is headed to Fredonia State College this fall to study to be a music educator.

He said he is proud to be in the Class of 2021, which has shown resilience while excelling in sports, music and academics.

Some of the parents take a group picture of the class before breakfast was served.

Shannon Blount is one of the parents who pushed to help fund activities for the class at the end of the school year.

“The kids missed out on so much during their senior year,” Blount said. “We’re incredible grateful we were able to help make some of these special events possible.”

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company sign welcomes the class for this morning’s breakfast.