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Gridley Herald

Biggs Graduation Reflects Small-Town Community

Jun 06, 2024 12:40PM ● By Cindy Scott, photos by Cindy Scott

The Class of 2024 officially turn their tassels during graduation.

BIGGS, CA (MPG) - When a graduation begins with the students walking up into the bleachers to present a rose to their mothers, you know you’re in a small, community-minded town. So it is in Biggs, where teachers, family and friends came to honor the hard work, dedication and character of its newest Biggs High School graduates.

During a traditional moment at Biggs Graduations, students head into the stands to find their mothers and give them flowers. Here Class of 2024 graduate Chase McClean hugs his mother, Angela.

The celebratory atmosphere could be seen in the candy, cash and memory necklaces, the honorary sashes and cords, the highly-decorated graduation caps and the sunglasses. After all, the graduates faced the setting sun.

Valedictorian Adeline Scott spoke and recalled the resilience of her classmates, “The Class of 2024 exudes the ability to adapt…Our educational journey was paused during the Oroville Dam evacuation, the devastating Camp Fire, and, as we all recall so vividly, the COVID pandemic.”

Valedictorian Addie Scott addresses the crowd and her fellow 2024 classmates during Biggs High School Graduation.

She gave credit to their small town: “This creation of community and connection indeed arises from living in such a small town, getting to know most of you on a deeper level outside of the classroom.”

Salutatorian Allyson Williams praised her classmates and their potential: “My hopes and expectations for me and my classmates is high, because I know we can do anything we put our minds to.”

Strong and proud, these lady wolverines are ready to take on the world.

She added, “The future’s bright for all of us and I can’t wait to see it come to life.”

Angela McLean attended the graduation with her husband, Josh, and several family and friends to watch her son, Chase, graduate. McLean was also a Biggs High School graduate, along with five of her siblings. With all three of her children graduating from Biggs High School, she sees the benefits of a small town and high school.

“When we moved to Biggs, the kids noticed the difference, that it is like a family here,” McLean said. “People care for each other and watch out for each other.”

McLean sees other benefits: students can participate in a variety of activities, such as sports, FFA and leadership. Also, living close to the school is convenient, especially in a family emergency.

Chase is McLean’s last child to graduate from Biggs High School.

“The biggest shock will be not having the sporting events to go to,” she said. They will miss the travel ball, the sports camps, and washing uniforms. “Not being in the bleachers,” added McLean, “will be the hardest thing.” Instead, she said, they will be traveling to visit their children, who will be out-of-state college students.

McLean especially enjoys seeing the generational element of the Biggs community.

“Some of the students are the fourth and fifth generation in their family to graduate from Biggs,” McLean said. “Parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are at sporting events talking about their own memories competing for Biggs, even singing the fight song with the crowd.”

When asked about her son's class, the Class of 2024, McLean noted that five of its sports teams played in a section championship game: football, boys’ basketball, softball, baseball and girls’ wrestling, with the boys’ basketball team winning section championship. She added that they are intelligent, hardworking and supportive of each other.

Before presenting the Declaration of Completion, Superintendent Doug Kaelin spoke to the 23 graduates saying, “I wish each and every one of you a productive life, the respect of your fellow human beings and the love of your families.”

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