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Richmond Hill Class of 2021 numbers more than 500
2021 RHHS graduation mortarboard throw
Mortarboards fly Saturday as the 2021 graduating class at Richmond Hill High School makes it official during a ceremony Saturday, May 22 at Glynn County Stadium in Brunswick. - photo by Jeff Whitten

BRUNSWICK – Richmond Hill High School valedictorian Savannah Flanagan called Saturday’s graduation ceremony at Glynn County Stadium “about going into the unknown and shaping it for yourself,” as some 500 members of the Class of 2021 received their diplomas and marched off into the future.

“We’re newcomers to this world and our lives have been dictated by those with more experience,” she said. “Now we’re going to be the main driving force for the rest of our lives.”

Flanagan, who will attend New York University and major in genomics and bioinformatics, was among the speakers urging their fellow graduates to seize the day, and the direction of their lives during the ceremony, which was held roughly an hour south of Richmond Hill at the 12,000-seat football stadium in Brunswick.

Salutatorian James Shin, headed to Georgia Tech as a Stamps Presidential Scholar, said his standing in the class was due to his aptitude for tests, and he saluted his fellow seniors, noting they made up “a phenomenal class of athletes, musicians, writers, artists and singers, and the list goes on.”

Shin, who will study aerospace engineering with a minor in computer science, also cautioned those listening to him to take his speech with a grain of salt.

“I’ve only gone through 18 years and have limited experience with this complex thing we call life, so I won’t pretend the words I say are life altering perfect life advice,” he said, and ended by urging his classmates “to never fall into the trap that is tradition, just for the sake of tradition. Be the pioneers, innovators and leaders of this next generation.”

The class of 2021 was welcomed by their vice president, Stephanie Harter.

Class president Shelby Osteen offered words of inspiration after diplomas had been awarded by Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher, RHHS Principle Bivins Miller and a rotating cast of administrators during the approximately 100-minute ceremony on a sunny morning before a stadium filled with family and friends.

And while some students wore masks, others didn’t in the wake of the school system lifting its mandate in time for graduation.

What’s more, neither the distance traveled nor the backed up traffic on 4th Avenue leading into the stadium minutes before the ceremony began appeared to lesson the enthusiasm of graduates or their families, most of whom were in celebration mode from the outset on a sunny morning with an occasional breeze coming in from somewhere.

It couldn’t have been better weather for a graduation in May in Georgia.

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