Santa Barbara High School celebrated the graduation of 528 seniors Thursday evening.
“Class of 2022, I know your struggle, you have triumphed, and you are here today, stronger than you were four years ago,” Principal Elise Simmons told the graduating seniors at Peabody Stadium. “It’s been an amazing journey … Seniors, as you look toward the future, you must also continue to look backward at where you have been.”
Dr. Simmons shared an anecdote of something a Santa Barbara Junior High School eighth-grader had said to her only that morning: “Never stop learning, because life doesn’t stop teaching.”
The principal addressed the COVID-19 pandemic during her speech.
“Be in the present,” Dr. Simmons advised. “That is what the past four years have taught us. Things will not be what we had hoped for, but what is in front of us, is just as important and real.
“There were times during the past four years when we all wanted what we could not have: to be together, to go places, to do things, to see people …,” Dr. Simmons said.
“The class of 2022 also did some amazing things in spite of the pandemic,” she said. “They completed over 50,00 hours of community service …
“Our students have already impacted our community in such a positive way, and I am confident they will continue to do so,” Dr. Simmons told the Class of 2022 and its friends and families.
“Seniors, please continue to live large in your hearts, and know that today is the best day of your life, and yet, the very best is still to come,” Dr. Simmons told the graduates.
Several students also gave brief speeches to the class.