The Class of 2020 graduated from St. Patrick’s Catholic High School yesterday, in the school’s first-ever virtual graduation celebration.
“COVID-19 has forced many changes on our society in the past three-and-a-half months,” says Deb Crawford, Director of Education. “But our St. Pat’s staff, graduates and their families did not let the virus keep them from celebrating this momentous occasion. It was an amazing day!”
In addition to an online graduation video, the school planned a drive-up parade from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Students and their families arrived in their vehicles and drove up to the ceremony stage. Students got out of the vehicle, used hand-sanitizer then walked across the stage in front of staff and school administration to pick up their diploma. After a photo was taken, students returned to their vehicles and drove to an area of the school parking lot to make a non-perishable food donation.
“We wanted to include the food donation as part of our graduation celebration,” says St. Patrick’s Principal Chris Kehoe. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we were not able to hold our annual Cyclone Aid, which is an important event at our school. The food collected at our grad ceremony will be donated to Inn of the Good Shepherd.”
In addition to the parade and graduation video, students and families were also able to celebrate at a virtual Graduation Mass, which was pre-recorded by Father Matthew Bedard.
“I want to thank all of the people who helped make this event possible,” says Scott Johnson, Superintendent of Education. “Thanks especially to our administration team at the school, Communications Technology Teacher Robert Walicki and Guidance Department Head Jay Stewart. Their great work has made for a memorable event for the Class of 2020.”
Virtual graduation ceremonies are planned for Ursuline College on June 24 and virtual Grade 8 graduations will be held at all elementary schools throughout the month of June.