Photos: Piper Bognar, Van Dyke Public Schools
Annual high school graduation ceremonies with educators, family and friends cheering on the seniors have been a standard in local communities for decades.
Unfortunately, the “Pomp and Circumstance” tradition of commencement ceremonies, along with proms and award banquets, have been canceled for the class of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Seniors walking across a stage to receive their diplomas is an event that won’t happen this year with the usual flair. District officials, however, have planned alternative ways to recognize this year’s graduates for their accomplishments.
Van Dyke Public Schools kicked off graduation season with “Light up the Field” the evening of May 29. During the event, the Lincoln High School Class of 2020 and their families gathered on the high school’s athletic track in their cars.
The vehicles lined the track, and as families drove around it, each student’s name was announced. WJR Radio also broadcasted the students’ names and played the valedictorian’s speech on the air. Some students even wore their caps and gowns.
“It was so cool. It was wonderful,” VDPS Superintendent Piper Bognar said. “Everyone listened to the names being read, and the class song was played. It was a very unique ceremony.”