BOSTON — Whitman-Hanson Regional High School officials have announced the 2020 graduation ceremony, set to happen in person this weekend, will now be a drive-by event due to a potential exposure to COVID-19.
On Thursday, the Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Szymaniak and the Principal at Whiteman-Hanson HS Dr. Christopher Jones said the district recently learned about some community members who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. After giving it thought and weighing the situation, school officials decided the best and safest option was to cancel the in-person ceremony.
“They had promised us this from the beginning and the day before it got torn away from us,” said Kaylee Diehl, a graduating senior.
Seniors say several promises made to them were broken. A promised senior prom, banquet and cookout got taken away and never happened. And now the news there won’t be an in-person graduation is devastating.
“This was an extremely difficult decision. We cannot imagine the feeling of loss our graduates must be feeling and are incredibly disheartened in our inability to make this event occur,” Szymaniak and Jones said in a Facebook post to the school’s page.
The school district has now planned a drive-by graduation ceremony for July 31 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In an email sent to parents and students on Thursday, school officials said they will still be doing speeches and will have people on hand to direct the cars.
“Seeing everyone together for the first time in months it made me excited for it, they got our hopes up for it and that’s why it hurts,” said graduating senior Teresa Duffy.
While students say it won’t be the same many will be there to get their diploma and make the best of a year none will soon forget.
The school will still release a video with the student speeches and pictures taken by the sign that says “The Class of 2020 Rock” and Seal.
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