During yesterday's Governor Walz press conference regarding Minnesota Middle and High Schools getting to open back up for in-person classes, Owatonna Senior Lane Versteeg, was invited up to the podium by Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan to share his story. Versteeg made the most of his time at the podium.

Lane, spoke clearly, directly, and eloquently about how the last year living in 'COVID times' has been like for him, and his friends, during what should be one of the best years of their lives, their Senior year in high school.

"As I ended my Junior year online, I couldn't help but be excited for the beginning of my Senior year. At the time there wasn't a doubt in my mind, that my classmates and I, would be walking the halls of our high school together, this fall. And although some exciting month of my Junior year had been interrupted I was still hopeful for the experiences my next year of high school had in store. Little did I know however just how serious this pandemic would be. As COVID become more and more real, my expected return to school grew farther, and farther away.

By last year September, I had all but given up on my Senior year. I had accepted it as lost. And although I am grateful for the countless hours my teachers have put in to make distance or hybrid learning as good as possible, nothing can replace the memories made with friends during high school.

I was longing for just one more bus ride with my teammates. Just one more rush of anticipation before stepping on to a concert stage. And hoping not just for a Senior prom, but a first prom.

Now as vaccines roll out, and the end of this pandemic feels closer than ever before, I'm reminded of the excitement I was experiencing 12 months ago. With the Governor's new direction, I'm eager for the opportunity to share the walls of my high school with my classmates one last time. And although the end of my Senior year may not be as traditional as I had hoped, I know that my grade will get to experience it in the most important way possible. Together.

And with that...[clapping] Thank You...I'd like to introduce Superintendent Matt Gross."

When Lane was done speaking you can hear Governor Walz tell Lane that he did a good job and that now everyone in Minnesota was crying.

You can watch//listen to Lane speak in the video below.

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