Details of Princeton’s May 29 drive-through graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 were released last week by Principal Barb Muckenhirn via email.
“The final plan is not what any of us, including myself, had dreamed of and not what we had originally planned as a contingency in the hopes of the pandemic situation possibly lessening,” Muckenhirn wrote in her May 14, message to students, parents, and guardians.
She added: “But it will carry on the dignified commencement ‘Tradition of the Tiger’ and I will be proud to congratulate the students May 29.”
Muckenhirn conducted an optional Zoom videoconferencing meeting with senior students Monday to explain the drive-through graduation process and answer any questions.
The ceremony is scheduled next Friday, from 4:30 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m.
The drive-through ceremony will not be live-streamed. Family members and friends with the graduates are encouraged to live stream or capture their portion of the ceremony for the graduate’s families while remaining in the vehicle.
Vehicles will enter the north student lot on Eighth Avenue South where they will see an orange concession trailer which will serve as an entrance checkpoint.
Upon passing the checkpoint, vehicles will enter the route that will be clearly marked with cones and caution tape. PHS staff will be on-site to assist and direct.
District 477 is not planning a weather make-up day, Muckenhirn reported. District planning will allow a continuation of the ceremony during inclement weather. The ceremony will be canceled only under the most severe weather conditions.
Upon arrival to the ceremony area, graduates will be directed when and where to exit their vehicle.
The graduate’s name will be announced, they will walk across the ceremony area, receive their diploma cover from Muckenhirn, and receive congratulations from district dignitaries.
Only graduates will exit the vehicle to receive their diploma cover. Those in the vehicle will be very close to the ceremony and will have a good opportunity for photos from the vehicle.
Professional photographers will be taking graduate photos as always. These will be available online at a later date.
The district will be creating a quality video production of the event that will be released the following week.
The district is supporting professional videography for the event. The production will be released as a “YouTube Premier” event Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m.
The production will include previously-recorded portions of the ceremony as well as footage of all graduates participating in the ceremony.
“We are also planning to honor the Class of 2020 at Homecoming on Oct. 9, 2020,” Muckenhirn wrote in her May 14 email.
However, events of that date will be contingent upon any future quarantine safety guidelines and restrictions.
Social distancing will be in place on school property. Masks will be worn by staff assisting students.
The traditional handshake will not be used. Graduates will be given a mask at cap and gown distribution which they are asked to wear when receiving their diploma.
Graduates and guests are to remain in vehicles during the route. Only the graduate will exit the vehicle.
Two copies of the printed graduation program will be provided to each graduate during senior cap and gown pickup Friday, May 22, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The program will be made available online for additional printing at home.
See next week’s Union-Times for additional details about Princeton’s 2020 ceremony, as well as the newspaper’s special edition honoring graduates.