ROCHELLE – Rochelle Township High School held a modified graduation ceremony to honor its senior class of 2020 over the weekend.
The event took place on Saturday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the RTHS gymnasium. Between 70-75 students, as well as up to ten family members for each student, attended the event and each student and family entered the gymnasium one at a time for their designated time slot.
The student walked across the stage, heard his or her name called and although the students already received their diplomas, the principal pretended to hand it to the students for a photo opportunity. After walking across the stage, the students and families were given a short amount of time to take photos before the next group came in.
“Each family had between five and ten minutes inside the building to take photos,” RTHS principal Chris Lewis said. “Then, they took some outside and eventually had their moments together at home to celebrate.”
All CDC guidelines as well as recommendations from the Illinois State board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health were strictly enforced at the event. While the event differed from the normal graduation ceremony, the school has heard nothing but positive feedback from the students and their families.
Considering all of the rules and regulations, the school says the event went very smooth and according to plan. This is not how either the school or the students imagined graduation would be conducted, but the school did everything in its power to give its graduating seniors the recognition they have worked towards.
“Obviously, this wasn’t the most ideal or the normal ceremony, but nothing is normal right now and we made the most of the situation we could,” Lewis said. “We wanted to at least provide one more moment for our kids and we were able to do that. We were glad to see them one last time and we wish them all the best in all of their future endeavors.”
Graduating senior Austin Greifenkamp and his father Ryan Greifenkamp standing outside of the high school.