Frankfort graduates, like 'gamers,' will overcome

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Jacob Logsdon, Ben Nestor and Corey Brieloff stand at the head of the line as they await the processional into Falcon Field for Frankfort High School's graduation Sunday.

SHORT GAP - In their four years at Frankfort High School, the Class of 2021 was affected by a lengthy teacher’s strike in their sophomore year and a worldwide pandemic which forced them into virtual learning in the junior and part of their senior years.

Even as seniors, and during their graduation ceremony itself, the affects of the coronavirus were apparent. Family and friends were seated in both the home and visitors’ bleachers, and the graduates were socially distanced and masked.

And  yet, both the salutatorian Jachob Clark and the valedictorian Christian Cimaglia noted that this history-making class has come through it all with grit and determination that will carry them far in life.

Jachob Clark gives the salutatory address Sunday at Frankfort High School's graduation ceremony.
Christian Cimaglia gives the valedictory address to his fellow "gamers" during Frankfort's graduation Sunday.

“One outstanding quote that sums up our last year and a half is ‘We can virtually do anything,’” Clark said to laughs from his classmates. “We proved we could do almost anything virtually … and it will be virtually impossible to stop us from what we want to do in our lives.”

Referring to his fellow graduates as “gamers,” Cimaglia told them that despite the pandemic they had “played the game of life like pros. You attacked challenges left and right from both academic, athletic and personal fronts and even when the rules of the game changed over the course of the pandemic, you took it in stride and never stopped performing to the best of your abilities,” he said.

“Let us make it clear, to whoever’s waiting at the next level of the game … we’re the generation of overcomers. The gamers,” he said.

As is tradition at Frankfort, fellow students introduced the salutatorian and valedictorian - Mason Belt for Jachob Clark and Simon Dalton for Christian Cimaglia.

Graduates listen to the speakers during Sunday's graduation ceremony at Falcon Field.

Jonna Hughes sang the National Anthem, with the band under the direction of Roger Walker playing the processional as the graduates marched onto Falcon Field.

Principal Orie Pancione announced that retired principal Joe Riley and Christopher Whiteman were being inducted into the Falcon Hall of Fame in recognition of their years of support.

Graduate Haylee Hansrote announced that the class had voted teacher Heather Morrison as the Most Influential Teacher in their high school careers.

Katie Miltenberger gave the welcome and introduced the guests, and Anthony Sanders gave the farewell.

Liz Beavers is managing editor of the Mineral Daily News Tribune and can be reached at lbeavers@newstribune.info