Traditional graduation ceremony set for July 31

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Addie Lindenmeyer

As part of the tradition, the class of 2019 throws their caps and tassels into the air at the close of the ceremony.

With the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States schools have been forced to stop physical classes and cancel other events in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Events that were canceled included prom and all spring sports. Even the event that most high school students work towards, their high school graduation, has been postponed.

Instead of having a traditional high school graduation in the month of May, the event has been rescheduled to occur on July 31. Despite the change in date, senior Mariah McDonald still looks forward to the ceremony despite the change. She believes that a traditional graduation ceremony in May is not necessary, instead what is important to her is being recognized for her achievement.

“In my opinion, a traditional graduation ceremony would have had to have taken place in May,” McDonald said. “The July 31st graduation date, to me, is not traditional but I am still so excited to attend and be recognized.”

McDonald is not the only person who feels as though a traditional ceremony is not needed. English teacher, Lisa Shear, also thinks a traditional ceremony in May is not needed. Shear believes that having the ceremony occur in July will make the seniors’ high school graduation more memorable if they get to give input on what the ceremony will be like.

“I actually think a “non-traditional” ceremony would be more impactful for the seniors, provided they get some say in what it is,” Shear said. “Traditional graduation seems mostly to be important for family, friends, and attendees, but in my experience, the time at the ceremony is not the part of the graduation festivities that sticks with seniors the most.”

Shear believes that the social distancing protocols may impact how many teachers attend the ceremony.

“Graduation has always been on a non-contract day, we don’t come to school on weekends, so I don’t imagine that will much change who chooses to attend,” Shear said. “However, I know many teachers are concerned about their own/their family’s health and are avoiding gatherings, so that might lead to fewer faculty attending.”

On top of attendance being affected due to the rescheduling of the event, seniors still missed out on the opportunity to experience their final nine weeks in high school. McDonald believes that a rescheduled graduation is not enough to make up for all of the events seniors did not get to experience such as spring sports and prom. However, she continues to hold on to the happy memories she experienced in high school, despite the fact that her four years did not culminate in the way she and many of her classmates wanted.

“My best memories are probably with the Debate Team and my AP statistics class,” McDonald said. “I made friendships there that will last a lifetime and gained so much life experience.”

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