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William E Hay plans for 2021 Grad May 26, 2021 @ 9:02pm

Graduates from the Class of 2020 wave at cars passing during last year's Grad

On-going COVID protocols have caused area schools recognition ceremonies to move away from tradition.

Last year’s Diploma Ceremony at William E Hays was held outside in the school parking lot, with photos taken on the football field, a small procession on the running track, and a drive-by celebrational parade for family and the community.

This year, the school administration has had to reinvent the grad ceremony again. One of the event organizers, Audra Lotoski, says they still want to give the grade 12 class a celebration to commemorate their hard work.

For the Honorary Diploma Ceremony, students in the graduating class will book a time to receive their diplomas. After receiving diplomas, the students will move to an area on the north end of the school which will be decorated for the graduates and their parents to take pictures. Afterwards, students will move inside where Lifetouch Photography will take individual photos of each student. Lifetouch will then create a class photo compilation for the students.

Grad students will assemble in the Performing Arts Center, utilizing social distancing and masks in a pre-seating arrangement, where a small ceremony will take place and live-streamed for family. The event is slated to include the Student Union President and Mistress of Ceremonies, Hailie Ripley, addressing fellow graduates. Also included will be the Principal’s Address, Class History, Tribute to the Parents and their response, and musical performances. Many of these will be pre-recorded and shown on a large screen.

Prior to the graduation ceremony on Friday June 25th, a ‘Hoody Parade’ will be held on the school track. Weather permitting, students will don their Class of 2021 Graduation hoodies, and walk the track with the Stettler Elementary School students spaciously lined on both sides, cheering them on.

The plan is set up to be easily adapted based on weather, and as per the general day to day of all school events over COVID, Staff and the Grad committees all have a “Plan B” readily available in the case of changes to current AHS restrictions.

Carson Ellis, Reporter


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