Usually, Mountain View High School graduates gather in the gymnasium, while their family and friends file into the high school auditorium to await the processional to the stage to receive their diplomas.
But, 2020 is not the usual year. And so, graduation is not the usual ceremony.
On Saturday, June 7, the graduates were directed to their designated spot in the elementary school parking lot. Family members remained in their vehicles, while graduates were safely seated – and socially distanced from one another – in chairs in front of their own car.
Although the setting was different from other years, the components of the ceremony remained with speeches offered up by administrators, class officers, and the valedictorian and salutatorian.
“This is not the way we pictured this day happening,” said Class of 2020 vice president Sophie Swetter in her remarks. “It doesn’t mean we can’t embrace what is happening.
Dr. Michael Elia, the district director of curriculum and also served as the interim high school principal for most of the school year, said the past few months have taught all of us the “power of connection.”
Salutatorian Tosha Shay said, “What part of the senior year we had, we made it memorable.”
She also noted that with this graduating class “almost no traditions have been kept,” adding, “Some traditions are meant to be broken.”
From the podium on the stage outside the elementary school, Valedictorian Emma Zipprich offered, “This is obviously not how we expected this year to go.”
She focused on the theme of “persistence” saying that throughout life there will be obstacles. “As we adapt and conform to the new normal, we have to move forward and have to be persistent.”