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Nakiya Nyborg elbow bumps Principal McGill as she accepts her diploma and is filmed for this year’s virtual graduation to be aired May 28th.

Graduation Plans Move Forward for May 28

Virtual Graduation Ceremony Scheduled for May 28th

May 21, 2020

As the end of the 2020 school year rolls around, seniors are now staring at what would have been their last days of high school. With COVID-19 showing no definable end, the staff and administration at Alta want to make the seniors feel well loved and recognized as they finish their high school careers!

Principal Brian McGill has stressed about graduation ceremonies and has gone above and beyond to make sure “it’s as nice of a recognition that the graduates deserve.” Numerous polls and discussion groups helped form ideas for the year end recognition of graduates during this unique and trying year.

“We need to make sure this event is the best experience for these students,” he said. “That is our mission… we need to celebrate each student within the guidelines we have received from the State Health Department and the Governor’s Office and our own school district.” 

We love these students. We know that none of this is ideal; we are doing everything we can to celebrate this milestone in their lives.

— Dr. Brian McGill

To date, much has happened to honor this year’s graduates. The final event will happen May 28th. Following the virtual graduation, there will be a parade for students to come by Alta, to pick up their diploma and for teachers to see them off one last time!

This parade, one car per student, will begin in the Alta student parking lot. At the conclusion, students will turn in their gowns and receive their diplomas. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and ends in the afternoon. See the school email for assigned times to drive through the lines of faculty.

The celebration of this graduates was a three week long festive event. To begin, volunteers from the community and Alta teachers went to every seniors’ house, and put signs in their yards. Seniors then had the opportunity to pick up caps and gowns prior to the Monday (18th) and Tuesday (19th) graduation walk across the new stage in the Performing Arts Center. Each student will take the graduation walk and be filmed and videoed for the virtual graduation that will take place the morning of May 28th. 

In addition, signs with a photo of each senior will line the perimeter of the school on graduation day.

“We love these students,” McGill added. “We know that none of this is ideal; we are doing everything we can to celebrate this milestone in their lives.”

Speakers and music performers recorded their performances on the 20th, which students tried out for the previous week. Mr. Daron Connelly is creating a virtual graduation video for students. 

Audrey Iverson is pleased that this year’s graduates can be recognized before they start the next chapter of their lives.  “I’m really glad we are doing things so people who are leaving can get their diploma,” she said. “I’m grateful to everyone who is working so hard to recognize us.” 

Morgan Jensen noted the unfortunate aspect of this year’s graduation, but she appreciates “everything everyone is doing to make the rest of our senior year as special as possible.”

As of right now, there are plans to hold an in person graduation on August 7th, but it is all very dependent on how social distancing restrictions change in the time until then. Austin Palmer says “If we do have the actual graduation, it would be awesome to see all the people I’ve gone to school with one last time.”

English Teacher Denise Ferguson looks at this year with a historical lens. “The faculty loves the 2020 graduates,” she said. “This year is truly historic and at the end of it all, graduates will have a unique story to tell. It will be distinctly memorable in spite of all the non traditional events.”

For now, everyone is working hard to make sure seniors are recognized for the hard work they have put in the last four years! In addition to Dr. McGill and Kelcey Kemp from the administration, faculty graduation chairs Kenzie Heyer, Heather Heffner, and the many school faculty members are working hard to make it happen! 

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