Over 800 Shen students walk across the stage in their caps and gowns

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CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — School districts across the Capital Region are gearing up for graduation. After nearly two years of untraditional school, students will be able to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Over 800 Shen students walked across the stage Friday morning to get their diplomas. Some students tell NEWS10 they waited a very long time for this special day. “I’ve been thinking about this day since sophomore year so it’s going to be a special day for all of us,” says Shen senior Calvin VanderVeer.

The bleachers and chairs were filled with loved ones. There were a lot of cheers as the graduates walked on the turf in their caps and gowns. “We had about 6-7 plans in motion and we’ve been ready based on the governor’s decisions and we got to a point where we’re able to open this up for everyone to attend,” says Stephen Smith, 12 grade Associate Principal and Graduation Coordinator.

Since many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, Shen students can have a traditional graduation. Although there was no rehearsal before the big day, the students said they’re confident.

“It’s a nice day, I know it’s going to be a perfect day. I am going to be sitting on the stage and even if it rains it doesn’t matter,” says Shen senior Olivia Marin. Olivia is soon off to college. She says being a high schooler during the pandemic has been a challenge, yet a rewarding experience that she will cherish.

“It does feel like we were missing a piece but it also made us so much stronger and ready to be more excited for things like college and the next steps,” says Olivia. Graduation is a day these hard-working students will never forget. Congrats to the Class of 2021!

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