Despite sprinkling rain and missing notes, KHS seniors get their diplomas

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Damian Rhett Thongdara, Alexis Torres, Colton Turner, Delta Wheeler and Henderson Joshua Wheeler hang out as they await the start of the procession into Alumni Field Sunday for Keyser High School's graduation.

KEYSER - A postponed ceremony, sprinkling rain, and a missing valedictory speech.

Given the fact that the Keyser High School Class of 2021 had already lived through a lengthy teacher strike when they were sophomores and the COVID-19 pandemic in their junior and senior years, the glitches in Sunday’s graduation ceremony seemed like small issues and were all taken in stride by the savvy seniors.

A senior seems to be  happy to finally be at graduation Sunday as Keyser High School held its annual commencement.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, the ceremony was postponed until Sunday so it could be held on Alumni Field, and yet it still rained - although only a sprinkle and only just before the ceremony.

At 7 p.m. sharp the 115+ black-and-gold clad seniors marched out onto the field and around the track so family and friends seated in both the home and visitor side bleachers could get a glimpse - and photo op - of their graduate.

Senior class president Sarah Sions gave her farewell, and salutatorian Virginia Breedlove gave her speech.

Senior class president Sarah Sions gave her farewell address Sunday during Keyser High School's graduation.
Virginia Breedlove gives the salutatorian's address at Keyser High School's graduation Sunday.

Then it was time for valedictorian Trenton Burns to give his speech … but his notes were not where they were supposed to be in the podium and the young man found himself “winging it.”

Valedictorian Trenton Burns found himself "winging it" during graduation Sunday after discovering the notes for his address were missing.

His off-the-cuff remarks brought much laughter and applause from his classmates and the audience as well, proving this class, perhaps more than any other class in Keyser history, knew how to roll with the punches.

The ceremony was kicked off with the prelude and processional by the concert band under the direction of Suzanne Warrick.

Principal Lois Spencer introduced the guests and class officers Sierra Hester, Racheal Rutherford and Taylor Stewart joined their voices to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft pronounced the seniors as graduates, and each student received his or her diploma as assistant principal TJ Connor read their name.

Class vice president Mareena Clark gave closing remarks.

All five members of the Mineral County Board of Education were on hand to congratulate the graduates, as well as all three county commissioners.

Liz Beavers is managing editor of the Mineral Daily News Tribune and can be reached at