About 40,000 Iowa 12th-graders marked graduating from high school with caps and gowns. For some, there were also face masks. “Each and every one of you have made it here, through the worst conditions the world has ever faced,” Des Moines North senior speaker Braeden Okic told a crowd of fellow graduates on May 30. COVID-19 struck in the spring of 2020, when Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered schools to close. By fall, each school had developed its own plan for studying while staying safe.