Local schools have variety of plans for graduation

ESCANABA — Local school districts have hoped to provide the class of 2020 with a traditional graduation ceremony. Instead, seniors will receive a unique commencement created by the same people who have seen the graduates grow and learn in the school environment. Each school district has a special way to recognize their graduates.

– Escanaba decided to keep graduation on Friday, May 22. Dressed in cap and gown, graduates will arrive at the high school for a vehicle procession to pick up their diplomas. Graduates will receive, if applicable, any plaques, letters, and awards when receiving their diploma.

Only one vehicle per family is allowed in the procession. Only the student will be allowed to exit the vehicle at the moment of their diploma walk. After returning to their vehicle they will continue to the Project Graduation area where staff will deliver prizes to the graduate’s vehicle.

The Virtual Commencement Ceremony will broadcast on Channel 191 from Charter Spectrum starting at 4 p.m. on May 22. There will also be a link on the school’s website, www.eskymos.com, to watch the ceremony.

– Superior Central Superintendent Bill Valima said the school’s graduation ceremony will be after the stay home-stay safe order is lifted and social distancing rules, regulating the size of a large group., is lifted.

– At North Central, a graduation ceremony is tentatively scheduled for July 2 at North Central’s football field. Awards, scholarships and sports recognition will be handed out the same night, according to Superintendent Jennifer Eichmeier.

“Friday we had a staff parade that did a drive by each senior’s home to deliver caps and gowns for graduation, as well as a goodie bag of treats for our seniors,” said Eichmeier.

– Jason Lockwood, superintendent of Bark River-Harris Schools, said the celebration for their seniors is planned for May 29 at 8 p.m. at the Bark River Off Road Race Track.

“The Bark River Lions’ Club is assisting the district with the facilities to ensure social distancing requirements,” said Lockwood. “The event will be wonderful … We have a planning committee that has put a lot of hard work into this and I feel the event is going to be very special.”

– Mid Peninsula Superintendent Eric VanDamme said they are hoping to set a date in June and another in July to have an in-person graduation.

“Of course we understand there may be some social distancing and things such as that, but that is the

goal,” said VanDamme.

– Big Bay de Noc Class of 2020 is having its commencement ceremony with parents in the school’s gymnasium Friday, May 29. The graduation ceremony will include the recognition of scholarships and awards seniors have earned. The ceremony will be streamed live to allow others to watch.

“We have invited the public to participate in a “Drive-by and Congratulate” parade for our Big Bay de Noc Class of 2020 on Friday, May 29, at 3 p.m.,” said Big Bay de Noc Superintendent DeeDee Thill. “Everyone is invited to share in congratulating our seniors who are unable to have a traditional graduation ceremony.”

Line up will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the south entrance of the school behind the fire department and other emergency vehicles.

“The seniors will be standing by their school signs in front of the school building,” said Thill.

– On Friday, May 29, Manistique’s graduating seniors will have a ceremony at the drive-in movie theater off US 2. Two vehicles per senior are allowed in at 9:15 p.m., with the presentation starting at 9:45 p.m. No vehicle will be allowed in without having a ticket.

All speeches will be recorded and played through the drive-in system.

— Gladstone will hold a virtual graduation ceremony Saturday, May 23. The ceremony will be broadcast at 1 p.m. on the school’s website, Facebook page, and Channel 191.

– Joseph Carlson, principal of Holy Name Crusaders, said the school is waiting to choose a date for graduation for its eighth grade students.

“We are hoping that the restrictions are lifted soon,” said Carlson. “Once they are, we will schedule a date for graduation ceremony and Mass.”

For additional information regarding the graduation ceremony of any school district contact the school by calling, viewing their website, or viewing their Facebook page. If restrictions change before any of the planned ceremonies are held plans may change.


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