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Southold recognizes Class of 2020 at outdoor graduation ceremony

Looking for one word to sum up a senior year cut short by COVID-19, Southold High School valedictorian Cole Brigham settled on “bittersweet.”

And in his address to fellow members of the school’s Class of 2020 Saturday, Cole explained exactly how the school and surrounding community turned the bitter into the sweet this spring with signs congratulating them and virtual events to recognize their accomplishments.

“We all wanted our year to be all sweet, but things don’t always work out that way,” he told the crowd at an outdoor, socially distant ceremony. “We were faced with a lot of bitterness, but still found the sweet to our senior year.”

Cole said that even as they maintained social distance the class got through a rough final three months together.

“We should look back at this year and think of all the things we missed and how it made us stronger,” he added.

Southold’s 114th commencement ceremony also featured a salutatory address from Rhian Tramontana and a national anthem sung by Nicholas Vincinanza.

The ceremony was streamed live by SOHO TV.