Roswell High School Awards Diplomas at Commencement for the Class of 2021

Roswell High School held its annual commencement ceremony in the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta on Monday, May 24 at 8 p.m. 

Principal Dr. Robert Shaw addressed the graduates and attendees, before conferring 497 diplomas to members of the class of 2021. This is the end of his fourth year as principal at Roswell High School.

“As a result of the pandemic, many of our seniors have overcome significant obstacles to be able to cross this stage this evening,” said Shaw. “Based on the accomplishments of this class and Roswell High over the last year, there is no question about the abilities of the Roswell High School Class of 2021.”

Student speakers included Valedictorian Noah Frank and Salutatorian Eric Zhang.

Frank noted in his address that the Class of 2021’s high school career began with the solar eclipse in 2017 and ended with a global pandemic.

“The beginning and end of these four years we’ve spent together were sandwiched between once in a century events,” he said. “We came to understand that our traditions remain flexible, our motivations remain strong, and our hard work is not diminished by less-than-ideal circumstances.”

In his speech, Zhang reflected on the challenges his class experienced due to COVID-19.

“The most memorable parts of high school won’t be the grades or awards,” said Zhang. “Instead, they are the relationships we form with our peers and the memories that we form with them, even virtually. Although it brought on drastic changes in the way we interact with each other, we were still generating as much togetherness and happiness as contributors to the RHS community as we ever felt in person in the building.”

Graduates of Roswell High School’s class of 2021 were awarded $19.9 million in scholarships, and will attend such schools as Belmont University, the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mercer University, Georgia State University, Oglethorpe University, the University of Colorado, the University of Alabama, Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina, Princeton University, Emory University and Purdue University, among others.

Other graduates will move straight into the workforce, utilizing the skills they have developed in high school. Three members of the class have chosen to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. One member of the graduating class, Evan Plunkett, has been selected to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he will play lacrosse.

“A lot of members of the Class of 2021 may think that changing the world may require big, bold efforts,” said Shaw in his commencement address. “But a quote from the late pioneering female aviator Amelia Earhart says, ‘A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.’”

Graduates returned to the Roswell High School campus May 25 to pick up their diplomas. As part of a more recent tradition, many members of the Class of 2021 gathered in the Ray Manus Stadium for photos, continuing the celebration with faculty, staff, family and friends.