As a retired high school teacher, principal, and superintendent, I know how important graduation is to high school seniors. With the closing of schools during this pandemic, teachers, students, and parents have had to deal with a completely foreign approach to education. But in spite of the situation, all have adapted and are approaching the end of a very difficult and different school year. All of this has been under the direction of our building and central staff administrators.
For the underclassmen, they can look forward to eventually getting back to whatever the new normal will be. But for the seniors, this is the last hurrah for them. They have missed out on many activities that just could not be conducted due to the coronavirus. The one last thing that they have left is graduation.
Last week I had to contact the school regarding a scholarship that my Lions Club offers to a high school senior each year. In the process, I went to the school district’s web site and found the posting for this year’s graduation program. Due to various social limitations, it is obvious that a graduation exercise in the traditional sense cannot take place. However, Wauseon’s plan does provide appropriate recognition for the graduating seniors.
They are using what they have available to provide an outside ceremony in the parking lot behind the Wauseon Elementary and Middle school. There will be a stage erected behind the Middle School building. Each graduate will be allowed one vehicle with as many occupants as there are seatbelts. The usual speakers etc. will appear on the stage and the final part of the program will be each graduate receiving their diploma. This will be done alphabetically by each graduate’s vehicle going to the stage area where the graduate, in his/her cap and gown, will walk across the stage, pick up their diploma and have their picture taken. There are procedures for entering and leaving the parking area. Graduation is scheduled on May 24 with a rain date on May 25.
I applaud the administrative staff for developing a socially distancing event and yet providing a lasting memory as each graduate receives their diploma. It certainly will be a ceremony that will be different from any other in school history, but it has been well developed by our administrators.