Behind the scenes of graduation 2021


Wanda Vanish

In 2019, students gathered in the field house due to rain. This year, there will be a rain date of June 12 in case of inclement weather.

Myah Lear and Danielle Bardelang

One thing that is on a lot of seniors’ minds is graduation and how that may change this year. This year’s graduation will be on June 11 and a rain date scheduled for June 12. If the rain date is used a decision will be made by 1 p.m on June 11.

Not much has changed this year in regards to how the graduation ceremony will happen.

“It will be pretty consistent with years past when it has been held outside. We are trying to keep it as consistent as possible. The social distancing on the field with the students is the biggest hurdle right now, and Mr. McGinnis and I have a good plan for that so I think we will be just fine,” assistant principal Vince Nedimyer said.

There are a lot of things that staff and volunteers have to do that goes into planning graduation. This year it took a little more work to make the changes to the normal schedule because of COVID-19.

“A lot of times we just mirror what has happened the year before, but this year the schematics and everything are different so that we can separate the students more, so we will be using more of the football field,” Nedimyer said.

It takes a lot of work and personnel to create a graduation that is safe and fun for the involved students.

“The biggest part is getting teachers to come out for work. Normally that’s not a very difficult thing. Our teachers are very giving, and they like to be a part of that. They like to see the kids go through and graduate, but we normally need anywhere from 30 to 35 teachers to come out and volunteer their time,” Nedimyer said.

So far, some teachers have signed up to volunteer for graduation.

“There are about 20 teacher volunteers, but then we had a meeting and we asked teachers to take a look if they hadn’t seen the email yet, so we are hoping that that number grows,” Nedimyer said.

The regular organization that went into past graduation ceremonies still apply to this one too.

“Then it’s just a matter of organizing the kids in alphabetical order and making sure that the procession is good and that everyone is where they need to be. We’ve started the process I think well enough in advance that it should go really well,” Nedimyer said.

There is a dress code for students to follow. Boys will wear a shirt and tie, dress pants and brown or black dress shoes. Girls will wear a dress, skirt or dress pants and shoes that have a back on them. Masks will be required by everyone involved, and jeans and flip flops will not be allowed.

The number of guests for each person has not been determined yet.

“We are not set on that so far just because things change so quickly with what we are allowed to allow. We want everybody to have as many people there as possible, but there are also times where we are kind of handcuffed by the restriction put on us by the state,” Nedimyer said.

“Everybody is wearing the maroon gowns over their clothes like they have in the past few years,” Nedimyer said. “There is a mask requirement and I think we have a plan for masks so that everybody will maybe have the same one on.”

The elementary graduation walk that had taken place before will not work as it normally does. Seniors will not be walking around any of the schools.

“Right now, the plan is that we can not do the graduation walk because of COVID-19. I don’t want to have all these high school seniors going through all the buildings and god forbid something happen that prevents you going to graduation,” assistant principal Jason McGinnis said.

Though the graduation walk isn’t happening, they will be replacing it with another event.

“What we are going to do is at each building we have a location set up where the teachers will be able to go down and give a video message to the senior class. Although it’s not as personal or fun, we are still getting that same idea of the elementary teachers and middle school teachers are still going to be able to give a farewell to the class of 2021,” McGinnis said. “We will be doing that in every building including the high school building. Those plans are still in the works but that will be the supplement to the graduation walk this year.”

Student ambassadors will be helping with the graduation ceremony this year as they did in the past.

“Ambassadors help with the organization and crowd control at graduation. They typically will line the fence and keep the crowd from standing along the fence at Mansion Park. This helps to allow parents to see the ceremony,” McGinnis said.