Administrator’s Corner: Class of 2022 has shown the skill of resiliency 

Published 8:00 pm Friday, May 13, 2022

Administrator’s Corner by Chris Dibble

The class of 2022 will be making history in less than a week. The 138th commencement ceremony for Albert Lea Area Schools will take place on Friday at 7 p.m. The students in the graduating class have overcome life-changing adversity, and we are enthusiastically looking forward to their final trip across the stage as Albert Lea students and emerging on the other side as graduates and alumni. Congratulations to all students and families on achieving this milestone.

Chris Dibble

Resilience is a skill that all graduates in the class of 2022 have proven to possess. Who could have imagined when they entered the high school as eighth graders the journey they would be forced to endure. It has been an absolute joy to watch these students return to some sort of normalcy including an energetic senior dinner-dance and prom in a new venue.

For this year’s commencement ceremony, as long as the weather cooperates, we will be making a move to the west end zone of our beautiful Hammer Field complex. Both sets of grandstands will be open so no tickets will be required and any family or community member will be welcome to attend. Students and staff will be seated on the field and a livestream will be available for anyone who cannot attend. Speakers will include school board Chairman Neal Skaar, students Samantha Brumbaugh and Garang Dual, and superintendent Dr. Mike Funk.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved into the Orrie Jirele Gymnasium. The time will not change, so families can plan ahead and solidify schedules with extended friends and family. In the event the ceremony is moved inside, tickets will not be required and any family or community members are welcome to attend. Again, a livestream of the event will be available. In both scenarios, there will be three chairs left empty and decorated with flowers in the student seating area to pay tribute to students who were lost prior to graduation. The decision about the location of the ceremony will be made as early as possible and communicated through the district website. 

All staff members in the Albert Lea Area Schools congratulate the members of the class of 2022 and wish them the best as they move on to new adventures. Thanks for all your contributions and we look forward to all the great things you will accomplish.

Chris Dibble is the Albert Lea High School principal.