2021 Wraps Up

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Megan Reynaert

These main events of 2021 shaped the year for many. 2021 was a year full of ups and downs, tragedies and celebrations.

Megan Reynaert, Co-Editor in Chief

2021 was a year full of ups and downs, throwing the entire world for a curveball after the disaster that was 2020. 2021 featured a return to many of the things that were missed the most over the past year such as in-person school, concerts, and being able to go out without a mask, after a year of missing out on such events.

One of the biggest downfalls of 2020, as well as early 2021, was online schooling. Attempting to learn online proved to be difficult for both students and teachers. Grand Ledge chose to remain online until March of 2021 when they announced that students would be able to return to the building in cohorts, two days a week. Students and staff continued on this schedule for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Luckily, in the fall of 2021, all students were given the opportunity to return to face-to-face learning, five days a week. Grand Ledge has been operating as close to normal as possible ever since. Mask mandates are still in full swing within the school.

Of course, 2021 had its downfalls too, including natural disasters, mass casualties, and shortages across the globe. We can’t forget about January 6th, the day masses of people rioted at the United States Capital over Congress voting to approve Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Hurricane Ida was a category four Atlantic hurricane that affected Cuba, Louisiana, the Gulf Coast of the United States, as well as the East Coast. Hurricane Ida lasted around a week, taking place from August 26th to September 4th, according to fema.gov.

Tragedy occurred at the Astroworld Festival in Houston in early November. “Members of a densely packed crowd surged toward a stage and were crushed against each other” (Jason Hanna, CNN)

Upwards of 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the location. At least ten people didn’t survive out of the 50,000 that had attended the music festival. Supply shortages have been an issue across the world ever since the pandemic began. The problem began with toilet paper during the very first quarantine and has expanded to include many more products. Shortages and delays are likely going to affect this year’s holiday season.
On a more positive note, the United States officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth celebrates the freedom of enslaved people in the United States at the end of the Civil War.

Misogyny is now known as a hate crime in England and Wales after the murder of Sarah Everard in London. Helen Newlove, an activist in the United Kingdom, fought for the law to be put into place for months. In the end, her efforts were successful. Kamala Harris made history as the first female, Black, and South-Asian Vice President of the United States, partnered with Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Specifically, in positive Grand Ledge news, the Girls Varsity Volleyball team won their District Championship for the first time since 1999, beating Dewitt in four sets at East Lansing High School. They proceeded to fall to Brighton High School in just three sets in the first round of regionals.

Grand Ledge High School appointed a new superintendent, Dr. Marcus Davenport, and Principal Mr. Wright became Dr. Wright after earning his Doctorate in Education Leadership. We are excited to see what both of these administrators can accomplish in the coming years.

Hearts were heavy with the news of a school shooting at Oxford High School. On November 30th, a high school student opened fire on his classmates as well as staff at the school. Many were injured as well as some fatalities. This event hits close to home, as it occurred just over an hour and a half away in Oxford, Michigan.

2021 was a recovery year. We adjusted to our new normal and it was definitely a year of growing pains.”

— Alyssa Rainsberger

Despite the natural disasters, tragedies, and continuous deaths from COVID-19, 2021 still came out on top over 2020 in a survey held within Grand Ledge High School. Students described 2020 as “horrible”, the “worst year ever”, and so on. COVID-19 took the biggest toll on the students’ year. They all stated that it was their least favorite part of 2021.

“2021 was a recovery year. We adjusted to our new normal and it was definitely a year of growing pains.” Senior Alyssa Rainsberger commented.

Here’s to hoping that 2022 can surprise us all, and life can go back as we once knew it, or even improve from where society is at right now.