Graduation plans updated


Allison Frick, Reporter

As the school year is coming to a dramatic and surprising end, graduation is still forthcoming for the seniors this year. Even though it was not what they had expected it to be, they still get a version of a ceremony. So many ideas were thought of from the community and the seniors this year about how to celebrate them. A Thought Exchange was put out on the Big Spring District page for community members to also base ideas for alternative events as well.   

“We received a number of interesting ideas from the Thought Exchange. The most common theme was to try to make the ceremony as traditional as possible, which is what we have attempted to do given the circumstances. I am excited to see all the cars in the parade as I think it will be a unique experience for our seniors and something the whole community will always remember. I also am looking forward to seeing all of our seniors walk across the stage and have their own time to shine. The celebrations may look different, but the pride we have in our students and their accomplishments has and will never change.” said Principal, Bill August.

Fortunately, all seniors will get the opportunity to keep their cap and gowns this year as well. Due to timing, seniors will now pick up their cap and gowns at the high school commons May 27 through May 29 from 8 to 3. 

A car parade for all the seniors will be occurring in Newville on the date graduation was supposed to be, which is June 5. All seniors will drive in their car either by themselves and or with their parents. Seniors should not be driving with other seniors. Many seniors had the idea to make new ideas, such as driving tractors, motorcycles, etc. Administrators will be sending out an email about the parade expectation shortly. As long as all the expectations are made no matter the vehicle it should be okay. Regan Donato, also a senior at Big Spring, is excited about the parade. “I think the parade is a great idea to recognize our seniors. These times are unprecedented, but I think that the district is really coming up with creative ways to still showcase our graduating seniors to the community! Also, by allowing the students to drive tractors or ride horses allows students to be original and show their interest in the parade.” 

As the ceremony schedule is still in the making, two seniors were picked for graduation speeches, Carly White and Nicole Slaseman. As for walking across the stage, students will be put in groups of ten and will walk one by one to get their diploma, and touch the bulldog as they exit. Two guests per student will be allowed and someone will be there to video and also live stream the event for outsiders to be able to watch. 

Alexandra Kutulakis, a senior at Big Spring, will be attending Penn State Main the fall. “I think it is what it is. We are making the most out of what we have and what we can get. A lot of other schools have not given graduation much thought and kids are having to do graduation virtually which I believe is really sad. We are luckier than most people realize because our school and class officers are working hard and doing their best to give us the best possible alternative to a traditional graduation. While staying safe is ultimately the priority so is the mental health aspect as well. Although it might not be ideal it is going to be very beneficial for the students to be able to still get to have some graduation festivities that they have envisioned having.”  

After the ceremony, all seniors will get to keep the video of the ceremony. All students should block off the dates June 16, 17, and 18 for their time to come to the stadium and pick up diplomas, paperwork,cords, and honor sashes. This event will be filmed, so only the student should attend at this time. Hopefully there will be an August date for parents and guardians. Senior Leah Eichelberger is glad the school still having somewhat of a ceremony. “I don’t mind having a different ceremony. I would rather have some sort of ceremony than just a virtual graduation like some other schools are doing.” 

For future references, when seniors get the caps and gowns, they will also be given a cut off piece of paper that is a hand. Sydney Hutchinson senior at Big Spring said that this idea will be a great, memorable idea to keep in the school forever. They will be able to write some sort of message on that, and faculty is making a memorabilia of them in the school to remember the class of 2020 forever. “Being able to keep cap gowns is an honor,” said Shelby Hoffeditz, senior at Big Spring. “I liked the idea of the admissions dropping them off at each of our houses, just as a way to spice things up and it allows us to be able to see some of the staff. Although I enjoyed the idea I know now that the seniors have to pick them up themselves which is a more logical way due to COVID-19, but being able to keep them either way is a to show how much they care, since so many of our memories have been stripped away from us. This is also a great opportunity for us to take senior pictures with them on and get some with our friends in the near future.”

Since all the ceremonies happen at the football stadium, every night at 20:20 military time (8:20pm) the lights at the stadium turn on for them and stay on for twenty minutes.

This year’s seniors will have a ceremony like no other, one that will be forever remembered. The administration is working as hard as they can to make it something special for everyone. More news and updates from the faculty will be sent out soon.