Socially Distant Graduation Celebration

Seniors were celebrated with a parade hosted by faculty in the parking lot on May 21.

Senior+Reilly+Jackoboice+greets+her+teachers+from+her+car+during+the+graduation+parade+that+took+place+in+the+parking+lot+on+May+21.

Maggie McKinney

Senior Reilly Jackoboice greets her teachers from her car during the graduation parade that took place in the parking lot on May 21.

Maggie McKinney, Editorial Editor

Faculty, students, and family members gathered in the parking lot to celebrate the senior class finishing their final year by holding a graduation parade on Thursday, May 21. Although graduation is scheduled for Aug. 6., faculty got together and organized a special celebration to recognize the Class of 2020 following the end of the year.

“It felt so nice to see all my teachers,” senior Munachi Okuagu said. “I missed them all so much and them coming out to see us was so sweet and thoughtful.”

Teachers and staff wore their graduation gowns in support of the seniors and many held signs with words of encouragement. Many decorated the parking lot and the cars with purple and white decorations, balloons and streamers.

“My favorite part was all the teachers wearing their cap and gown like they would for the graduation ceremony,” junior Sophie Henkle said. “I know the girls really appreciated the effort put into the parade.”

During the parade, seniors got the chance to say a final goodbye to their favorite teachers. After Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the “stay at home” order on March 21, that would cause school to transition to online learning for the remainder of the school year, many seniors felt as if they did not get the chance to say goodbye to their school for the last time, according to senior Maya Bair. For them, the parade was a nice way to see their teachers again and say goodbye to high school.

“It was really emotional. It was good to see everyone but it definitely was hard,” Bair said. “It made me sad that I had to leave high school like this.”

Many seniors were joined by family and friends in their cars. It was a fun way for the people close to the seniors to be a part of the end of their high school experience, according to Sophie Henkle, who joined her sister, senior Lily Henkle in the car during the parade.

“It’s really exciting to watch her grow up and graduate,” Sophie Henkle said. “I’m proud of what she accomplished and I wish she got the end of the year that she and all the other seniors deserve.”