'COVID class' cruises through graduation, dodges heavy storm

The Hinsdale Central Class of 2023 was in the second semester of their freshman year when the world shut down. Dubbed the "COVID class," they endured a lot right up until the very end of their high school career - when a late afternoon summer storm almost shut down their outdoor graduation. Clouds parted, an army of volunteers dried the chairs and the Hinsdale Central High School band kicked off the graduation march to the theme from "Pomp and Circumstance" minutes before the 7 p.m. start. Family and friends with signs, horns and bells greeted the graduates as the marched onto Dickinson Field. The class was welcomed by Benjamin Monahan and Carter Knotts. The honors orator was Shahaan Shafi and senior speakers were Saanvi Sethi and Fatimah Shaikh (read their remarks on Page 11). The students who committed to the armed forces raised the flag during the National Anthem. Finding their friends and family in the crowd were Tucker Reed, Daniela McMahon, Sara Ellithorpe and Emily Brankin. More graduation photos can be found on our website at http://www.thehinsdalean.com (Jim Slonoff photos)