Commencement 2020 finally takes place July 25 for Kiowa County Mavericks in Greensburg

Hannah Brown/Kiowa County Signal
The Kiowa County High School class of 2020 celebrated with a graduation ceremony on Saturday, July 25 in Greensburg. (Screenshot from Kiowa County Media Center Video)

The Kiowa County High School Class of 2020 had an unexpected ending to their senior year, finishing the last nine weeks of school virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were able to celebrate their educational achievement with a commencement ceremony on July 25, 2020. The students were spread out in chairs, and attendees of the ceremony were spread out in the bleachers to accomplish social distancing. Even though it looked different, members of the graduating class were excited to finally close this chapter in their lives. 

“On behalf of the class I would like to say we are so glad to see you all here today. Quite honestly, we have never been happier to see people in our gym again,” said Kellie Rhodes, class president, in her welcoming speech. “No matter the journey, it was worth it to graduate together.” 

There were eighteen students in the class of 2020. Brandon Boyles, Joshua Brown Jr., Ashling Gumpenberger, Lucy Jacks, Brooklyn Koger, Josie Lang, Seth Lingafelter, Gage McDonald, Jaylene McKinley, Jenna Morford, Kellie Rhodes, Karlie Snow, Colby Tedder, Sabrina Thomas, Kade Trummel, Gavin Tuttle, Katie Ward, and Cooper Zenger made up this years graduating class from Kiowa County High School.  

After the welcome speech was given by Rhodes, Salutatorian Brandon Boyles gave a speech, reminiscing on his time in high school and wondering how they got here so quickly. 

“Now that this day has arrived, I keep wondering where the time has gone. Even though it’s over, what a ride it has been for the class of 2020,” said Boyles. “Through the years, our class has built a strong resume of honorable achievements and made countless memories.” 

Class Valedictorian Ashlind Gumpernberger was next up to the podium. He started his speech by giving several thank yous to parents and his fellow classmates. 

“What makes the class of 2020 different from the rest, is that we are Mavs. We are mentally tough, and we will continue to work together to find solutions. We are achievers, believe we are all bound for great things in life. Each of us are different and unique, and bring our own thing to the table. We are versatile, when something doesn't work we work around it. Lastly, we are selfless, because we know that it isn’t about any one of us individually. It’s always been about us as a group,” said Gumpenberger, highlighting the schools core values of being mentally tough, being an achiever, showing versatility, and being selfless. 

After the speeches were given, the KCHS Mixed Ensemble directed by Kim Stewart performed a song. Following the singing, Board of Education President Ki Gamble presented the I Make a Difference Award to Missy Cannon for her years of dedication and service to the students of Kiowa County Schools. A slideshow of baby pictures to senior pictures of the class was shown to commemorate the growth that has happened throughout their lives. After walking across the stage and receiving their diplomas, the graduates presented flowers to their families and shared a heartfelt moment full of hugs, smiles, and happy tears. 

“Graduates, on behalf of the teachers and staff of Kiowa County Schools, I would like to congratulate each one of you on a job well done,” said Travis Powell, principal. “Ladies and gentelymen, I am pleased to present to you the Kiowa County High School Class of 2020.”