'Worthy of celebration': Missoula schools celebrate graduating class of 2022

Skylar Rispens

Parents, friends, teachers and other community members celebrated over 800 graduates from Missoula County Public Schools’ three largest high schools in ceremonies on a rainy Saturday.

The graduates didn’t seem fazed by the weather and were eager to start the next chapter of their lives. Hellgate High School Principal Judson Miller found the weather fitting for this year’s graduating class.

“It’s kind of fun,” Miller said. “We’re going out the way that the class came in — just being a little bit different.”

The crowd for the Big Sky ceremony at noon bore most of the day’s drizzle, with some graduates donning plastic rain ponchos and umbrellas dotting the stage and stands at Washington Grizzly Stadium.

But adjusting to the rain was easy for the class of 2022 — a class that entered their high school journeys innocuously, only to have the rug pulled out from under them as sophomores with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From there, the students weathered remote instruction, mask policy, new cleaning protocols and other hurdles with resilience and flexibility in order to make it to this finish line.

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