ALBANY — Nearly 500 Shaker High graduates walked across the Times Union Center stage on Saturday, June 26.
Up until just a few weeks ago, plans for graduations across the state were in limbo. But, as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to drop and the number of people vaccinated continued to increase, the state allowed in person graduations with more than two guests per student.
Last year, Shaker opted for a drive-thru ceremony on the school campus. Graduates, driven by their family or friends, navigated blow up floats and musical stations as faculty and staff cheered them on before they got out of the car to walk across a stage to receive their diplomas.
This year was more traditional and Shaker was one of many who held commencement ceremonies at the Times Union Center in Albany.
“We learned so much and yet there is so much we don’t know. The only thing we know for certain is we did it,” said Yifan Kao, Class of 2021 vice president. “While many of you have been forced into adulthood by juggling work and school or fighting for what you believe in and for what is right, now it truly sets in and we have to realize that our childhood is over but our lives have just begun.”
There was an issue with the top of the livestream, according to the North Colonie School District, and the only speech that was recorded was by Kao. Superintendent Joseph Corr, Shaker High principal Richard Murphy, who is retiring this year, and other students also spoke during the ceremony.
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