While they were not able to gather at school for a traditional commencement ceremony, seniors from Pleasant Ridge High School were treated to a virtual graduation.
The virtual graduation took place in the form of an edited video that included many of the traditional components of a graduation ceremony including speeches and a roll call of the school’s 49 graduates.
The video was posted Sunday on the internet. It can be found at https://youtu.be/E0j6TmfDt48
Sunday is the day when the traditional graduation ceremony had been scheduled for Pleasant Ridge seniors. But that event was canceled because of restrictions related to COVID-19.
In March, Gov. Laura Kelly ordered schools in the state to close as a way to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Remote instruction was used to complete the school year.
Restrictions on the size of mass gatherings also have prevented traditional graduation ceremonies from taking place.
However, officials with the Easton school district are looking at scheduling an in-person commencement ceremony for sometime in the future.
In the virtual graduation video, Pleasant Ridge High School Principal Lacy Warren said school officials “wanted to make sure we were able to recognize (seniors) until we’re officially able to be together to watch you walk across the stage.”
“Our seniors sure did pull off the longest senior skip day to date,” Warren quipped during her opening remarks.
The principal said she was proud of the graduating seniors because they did not give up even though “life has thrown a lot at you.”
The video included remarks by salutatorian Hanna Forge and three valedictorians, Haley Forge, Caitlyn Herbig and Kaija Nutsch.
In her remarks, Herbig acknowledged the virtual graduation video is not the way seniors wanted to say goodbye.
“But this is what we get so we have to make the best of it,” she said.
The video included the reading of the names of the graduating seniors. Each name was accompanied by a photograph of the senior. And many of the seniors had provided quotations to accompany their pictures.
Other local graduation ceremonies also had been scheduled for this past week but were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Leavenworth school district, officials are conducting individual diploma presentations for seniors. Footage of these presentations will be edited into a virtual graduation video that will be released next month.
Officials in the Lansing and Basehor-Linwood school districts have announced plans for holding graduation ceremonies this summer.