Senior Awards Night goes virtual for Lansing students

John Richmeier

Like many events during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Awards Night was virtual this year for graduating seniors of Lansing High School.

Principal Rob McKim and Counselor Wes Cackler hosted the event, which was live-streamed on the internet June 4. Other school personnel also appeared during the hour-long event to recognize students.

“We want to thank the class of 2020,” McKim said at the end of the event. “It has been a great ride.”

McKim said the event highlighted all of the scholarships and awards earned by graduating seniors that had been shared with school officials by the students, parents and sponsoring organizations.

Cackler said the seniors were awarded a combined $2.93 million worth of scholarships. He said this figure includes only scholarships that have been accepted by graduating seniors.

“This is just the money that kids are going to use next year,” Cackler said.

During the Senior Awards Night event, McKim recognized the valedictorian, Katherine Bircher, and salutatorian, Liam Neidig, as well as the students who are in the top 10% of the Lansing High School class of 2020.

Cackler and McKim acknowledged the virtual version of the event was shorter than past in-person awards nights.

Cackler said Senior Awards Night events typically include presentations of scholarships. But for the virtual event, the scholarships and their recipients were simply named.

A recording of the virtual Senior Awards Night can be viewed at

While the awards night event was virtual, Lansing High School officials are planning an in-person graduation ceremony for later this month.

That event is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 27 at the Lansing High School football stadium.

Graduating seniors from Basehor-Linwood High School also have not had a graduation ceremony yet because of COVID-19. But school officials recently announced a Basehor-Linwood High School commencement ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. July 18 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Children’s Mercy Park is the home stadium of the Sporting KC soccer team.

Ashley Razak, communications coordinator for the school district, said in an email that having the ceremony at Children’s Mercy Park will allow the graduating seniors from Basehor-Linwood High School to invite more family members and friends. She said social distancing guidelines will still be observed during the event.

Officials in the Leavenworth school district put together a video of a virtual graduation ceremony for the graduating seniors of Leavenworth High School. That video was released June 6 and can be viewed at

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR