Deering High School held its 150th graduation exercises for the Class of 2024 on Thursday at Merrill Auditorium. The morning ceremony included speeches by Superintendent Ryan Scallon and Deering Principal Jake Giessman, as well as speeches by students, musical performances and the presentation of awards.

Scallon praised the graduates for tackling the rigorous demands of high school as freshmen during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also noted some graduates also confronted additional challenges, such as acclimating to a new country and language, experiencing homelessness, working jobs and taking on extra responsibilities to help support their families.

“We give great credit to you, Class of 2024, for the tremendous resilience you have shown in overcoming obstacles, managing responsibilities and persevering to reach this graduation milestone today,” Scallon said. “Today you are prepared and empowered for college and career.”

Hibo Ali, a graduating senior, spoke at the commencement. In her remarks, Ali drew attention to the loss of life and humanitarian crises in Gaza, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly deploring the deaths of children, who she said “won’t have the chance to walk across the stage as we do today.” She told her classmates, “I urge you all to advocate for human life.”

Both Ali and Destinie Vor, student body president, thanked their immigrant parents for sacrificing so much so that they could succeed. Vor also told her fellow graduates: “The future isn’t something we enter but something we create…Congratulations to the Class of 2024. The world awaits us.”

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