MEDFORD, Ore.– The high school class of 2020 is graduating in some pretty informal ways this year. In keeping with social distancing, teachers and faculty at St. Mary’s School in Medford held a graduation parade for seniors and family.
This parade isn’t your typical high school graduation but neither are the circumstances surrounding the graduating class.
“I’d honestly rather do this than sit in a stage for two hours,” said graduate John Beattie.
After a semester of ups and downs, turn around, and classes moved online, the class of 2020 has finally made it across the finish line.
“How do we honor and make our kids feel valuable and this is really to celebrate all their hard work and all their accomplishments and them as individuals,” said Principal Jim Meyer.
At St. Mary’s on Thursday, teachers, and faculty held a parade around the school for its 92 seniors. Each one getting their cap and gown and special mementos to remember this year.
“I miss them,” said Rebecca Lovett, a chemistry teacher. “I really miss them and I’m happy for them and best of luck.”
For many, it’s a bittersweet moment. So much has happened and there remains a lot of uncertainty.
Each senior however is glad to have made it.
“It’s long, long couple months and getting through it all and everything but we’re here,” said graduate Sophia Wisnovsky
St. Mary’s says it beyond proud of what these students have accomplished during a pandemic. More than anything else, they’re hopeful of the future for the class of 2020.
Seniors NBC5 News spoke with said they’ll be heading off to college next year. However, like many others they’ll be waiting to see whether or not classes will be held on campus or online.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.