Two Special Ideas to Celebrate This Year’s Graduates Got Us Right in the Gut

Perhaps the milestone event we parents miss most this year is our kids’ graduations, especially high school seniors whose graduation has been 12 years in the making. We’ve literally had our collective eye on that prize since the day they walked into their Kindergarten classrooms. 

In the last few months there have been so many fantastic and creative ideas about how to honor the Class of 2020. We’ve seen drive-in movie graduations, mosaic murals on high school walls, banners with graduate profiles decorating Main Street and graduate names painted on a school wall. We’ve been moved to tears by the lengths to which teaches and administrators will go to make our kids feel loved.

Two more great ideas for graduation

But two more amazing ideas really got us right in the gut.

In Green, Ohio Deputy Todd Hart, who is a resource officer at Green High School had an annual tradition. Every year as the seniors lined up for graduation, Hart would stand among them and confer his personal congratulations on their achievement offering each student a “high five or a handshake or a head nod or just a congratulations…”

Deputy Todd Hart honors high school seniors visiting each one

This year with graduation cancelled, Hart determined that he would find another way to recognize the seniors in his school district. As Hart told News5 Cleveland, “Graduation is like their Super Bowl. Everything they’ve been doing for the last 12 years has been leading up to this one moment and now that moment is taken away from them…”

So Hart decided to drive to the homes of all 317 members of the Class of 2020 and to personally offer his congratulations. He has begun his visits and plans to complete them by May 28 which was to be this class’s graduation date. Students say these visits make them feel remembered and cared for.

One high school creates its own portable stage

In Plaquemine, Louisiana a town of roughly 7000, Emily Martin the principal of MSA West wondered what she could do to create memories for her 73 seniors. That’s when the school’s resource deputy Troy Doiron suggested that they build a stage on a trailer-a sort of portable graduation stage. 

So that is exactly what they did and between April 30 and May 1, all 73 graduates got to walk the portable stage which was brought to their homes accompanied by a police escort, lights, sirens, Principal Martin and teachers who had taught the senior class. Seniors walked the stage in cap and gown and got their awards and diplomas

Sabrina Harmason-Butler Kief Butler Derrick Cyprian Iberville Parish Math, Science & Arts Academy West #MSA #west

Posted by Michelle Harmason on Thursday, April 30, 2020
Shared with permission from Sabrina Harmason-Butler

Sabrina Harmason-Butler, mom of a senior said of the ceremony,

It was very personal and thoughtful. We got to celebrate our graduates in a way that we didn’t think would be possible. We are very thankful for our school and their commitment to make sure the kids were celebrated. We enjoyed every minute of it and so did our son.

And all we parents can say is wow and thank you for loving our children so well.

More to Read:

Great Graduation Gifts List

Dear High School Seniors and Families: We Are So Sorry

In a Time of COVID, Hug Your Kids, Because Some Parents Can’t

About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

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