North Country Union High School’s Principal Chris Young welcomed families, students, staff and friends to the celebration of the school’s 55th Commencement exercises on Saturday, June 11, held under blue skies and temperatures in the 70s — “a beautiful Vermont spring day,” according to Brian McCrae, a member of the NCUHS staff. Principal Young acknowledged those who made the event possible and also reflected on the resiliency of the Class of 2022, especially during the last couple of years. “As we all know, the class of 2022 is graduating after a high school career that includes 4 months of fully remote work, a full year of hybrid instruction, and another year of constantly changing guidelines and expectations.” In his address, Valedictorian Ian Applegate reflected on the challenges that were met, especially when his classmates, as sophomores, learned the struggles of living with a pandemic. Ian reminded his classmates of the constant changes they each had to endure, before returning to a sense of normalcy. Class Salutatorian Amos Willey then took the podium, describing the inspiration for his speech, which came from a radio ad focusing on “the American way of life.” He spoke of how the country was founded on “the principles ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ … Early Americans understood their right to be an individual, but they also understood that didn’t mean they could selfishly ignore the needs of everyone else.