High schools celebrate seniors with in-person commencements

NOW: High schools celebrate seniors with in-person commencements

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Hearing the news that in-person classes were called off due to the pandemic didn’t come easy for many high school seniors, and the future of graduation ceremonies, the day many students look forward to for years, was up in the air.

On Friday evening, both Adam’s and Mishawaka High School seniors were finally able to walk across that stage.

“This is an incredible group of young people. They’ve been great ambassadors for our community, for our school district, for their families and tonight we’re really excited to see them back at school and to celebrate them," Mishawaka School’s Superintendent Wayne Barker said.

Both ceremonies were held with strict CDC guidelines, such as staying 6-feet apart, wearing masks, placing hand sanitizing stations in accessible areas, and limiting guest capacity.

“Certainly tonight, you know this is unique. This is different, hopefully we will be able to go back to our more traditional ways of celebrating our seniors in the future but for tonight, we’re thankful to at least be able to do this, it’s something we’ve said really throughout, let’s do the next best thing,” Barker said.

Adam’s High School senior Michaela Griffin’s mom, Heather Underwood said that this isn’t the graduation that her daughter imagined, but that she’s excited to finally walk across that stage.

“She’s very excited about starting her new chapter in life and being able to graduate and to be able to put that behind her, and just be a part of the whole scene. She’s you know, she’s excited,” Underwood said.

To watch her daughter graduate, Underwood said, is a moment that every parent dreams of.

“I’m so blessed to even watch her do this, we were so worried in the beginning that it wouldn’t happen and here we are, we get to watch them, other families get to watch their children go across the stage and it’s great I’m excited,” Underwood said.

The class of 2020, Barker said, is a class that no one will ever forget.

“I think we say all the time that a senior class is special and they’ll be remembered, but the class of 2020 will certainly be remembered,” Barker said.

On July 25, Clay, Washington, Riley and Rise up seniors will join at Four Winds Field for their graduation ceremony.

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