HHS Celebrates the 2020 Graduating Class


by Joey Scanelli

Senior Tony Scanelli celebrates his graduation outside HHS alongside family.

Lexi Nielsen and Sean Levonaitis

With the current issue of a global pandemic, celebrating the 2020 graduating class with a traditional ceremony was not an option. For the sake of everyone’s safety, HHS had to come up with an alternative celebration for the seniors this year to commemorate their hard work throughout high school.

To hold a non-traditional graduation for the seniors, HHS had students drive to the high school at a designated time where they would receive their diploma outside the front of the school. Seniors were able to drive up and pick up a mask for safety precautions and their respective cords to honor the clubs they were a part of throughout high school. After this, students would drive to the front of the school where they could properly receive a diploma and toss their hat in the air.

The celebrations didn’t end after you tossed your cap however. There was also time for a photo-op where pictures could be taken in your cap and gown.

“After tossing my hat, the cameras were rolling and it was showtime. Your parents even got to get out of the car and snap a few pictures of the show in a designated spot,” senior Lara Leitz said. “Finally, Milan Rose helped celebrate the moment with some backdrops for pictures. Everything was very well planned, you just had to make sure you got out of bed in time and didn’t forget your cap and gown.”

Some seniors were understandably upset that a traditional ceremony could not be held to celebrate their milestone of graduating high school. Despite this, most were grateful that the staff at HHS were able to do their best under the circumstances, and were content with the thought of celebrating with family now and friends later.

“Honestly, I liked this non-traditional way,” Leitz said. “I have a twin, so I was lucky enough to have a person with me who was experiencing the same giddy excitement. Plus, in the end, we get a video of it all to re-watch whenever we want. I think it’s almost poetic that we got to graduate in front of the doors we first walked into 4 years ago.”

The class of 2020 certainly deserves a big celebration for not only their hard work, but their adaptability to the situation that some would see as a ruined senior year. However, most seniors are finding light in the situation and making the most of their final days “at HHS”.

“I don’t think there really is any celebration out there that can truly celebrate all the hard work you have to do for high school (it’s four years of grueling work after all),” Leitz said. “Maybe being able to toss hats together with everyone in the grade might be able to give that feeling of fulfillment for a minute; however, I think this graduation ceremony did it’s best for the given situation.”