Pratt High School graduates 85 in Sunday ceremony
On Sunday, May 23, Pratt High School held their annual commencement ceremony for the graduating class of 2021. There were 85 graduates who crossed the stage to accept their diplomas, shake hands and turn their tassle.
The event, held in the Pratt High School gymnasium, followed normal procedures as in year's past, excluding the 2020 event which was held late summer with COVID-19 restrictions. There was a 10-guest limitation advised this year for each graduate but USD 382 Superintendent Tony Helfrich said those guidelines were loose and extra tickets were allowed for spectators.
The Pratt High Singers performed the National Anthem to get the ceremony started. The school band played a fitting piece, and the PHS Chamber Singers also performed an outstanding song, as usual.
Speeches were given by 2021 Valedictorian Sian Helfirch, Salutatorian Erin Jackson and Senior Class President Gabriella Cannata.
The Pratt High School class of 1971 was recognized for their 50-year-contribution of $26,000 in scholarships. Of the 2021 graduates, four were awarded $5,000 in scholarships each, four received $1,000 scholarships and one received $500.
Pratt seniors of 2021 rose to give the class of 1971 a standing ovation for their financial support in their continued education.
Diplomas were presented by Board of Education President Bill Bergner, assisted by BOE Vice President Donna Queall and board member Jennifer Hopkins. Superintendent Helfrich also stepped in to present a very special diploma to his daughter, Sian, a 2021 graduate.
"Like any parent, I was very proud of my daughter, and all the graduates, but also very sad at the same time," said Helfrich. "I feel lucky that I got to hand her the diploma and I even got to give her a hug, but it is so hard to turn them lose and let them go."