By Yoos, Cam on June 15, 2020.
With all the changes and adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic Central High School wanted to celebrate their graduating class in the best way they could with a drive-through graduation ceremony.
From originally planning the ceremony back in March, staff were limited to what they could do and how many people could participate. But as time moved on and social distancing limitations have eased, CCH was able to put together small gatherings where family and friends could celebrate with the graduating class.
“We wanted to celebrate them in some way,” says Joanne Polec, principal of Catholic Central High School. “We have had to do a lot of pivoting and we just felt that we needed to go big. When we started this, it was still under the 15 people and we had to ensure it was really tight and it flowed and we kept to that number, and then luckily the numbers increased to 50 and now 100, so it allows a little flexibility for parents and siblings to get out of the vehicle, get their photo opportunities, because at the end of the day they want to capture those memories. It’s not always about the entire day but about the special moment.”
Students were appreciative of the hard work and planning staff did to put together their unique graduation moment, as well as a graduation box for them to remember their time spent at CCH.
“We have gotten a lot of ‘thank you’ from students and families for doing everything in our power to liberate them and not just cancel everything outright, but rather finding those unique and special ways, and I am very proud of our staff since we have virtually everyone here throughout the day volunteering their time to make all of this happen,” says Polec.
“Despite the weather that has held off for the most part, it is going really well, when you don’t actually have the opportunity to rehearse and just run through, we don’t know exactly what it is going to look like, but we knew that we needed to cluster the groups and they have their moment to celebrate.”
Polec says that the graduation day was a special moment as groups of classes made their way in front of the school to accept their diploma and get their memory photographed. Polec hopes that the graduating class will adhere to their graduation theme to help push them further in life.
“My piece of advice for them would be to adhere to their grad theme. They had picked the grad theme of ‘jump and don’t fear the fall,'” says Polec. “I think that they have had to show resilience and grit throughout all of this. We all grieved the cancellation of a lot of things, but I think that they just adhere to that and recognize that there are so many hands and good people to support them, along with our community at their back, they will just be fine as they move onto the future.”
Throughout Saturday, staff, faculty, and families of the 2020 graduating class of Catholic Central High School celebrated their students’ achievements in education as they make their way to the rest of their life and pursue their dreams.
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