Graduations will be traditional, with precautions

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Next weekend, seniors throughout the county will walk across platforms to receive their diplomas, as their family and well wishers watch.

Local high schools are carrying on with the traditional graduation ceremony, though a few extra precautions will be taken.

Greater Jasper’s graduation ceremony will be back at the high high school gym on Friday, May 28; last year, it was moved outside to the football field.

“It’s kind of getting back to normal, which we like and are happy about,” Guidance Counselor Sean Jochum said.

Every student will get six tickets for the ceremony. “That’s how we will be able to monitor who is here and who is not,” Jochum said. “At first, we though it was going to just be for parents only. We feel fortunate that we’re about to expand that to six people per graduate.”

Officials are asking groups to social distance from other groups by sitting with their own family grouping. Although attendees aren’t being directed to wear masks, the school personnel must wear them, Jochum said.

Southridge High School will hold its ceremony Friday, May 28, at its outdoor football field, something that was also done last year.

“It worked very well last year, because we were able to set the seats six feet apart,” Guidance Counselor Jenny Fowler said.

Because there are the stands and about 100 students are graduating, students will not be restricted on the number of people they can bring.

“We’re still taking precautions,” High School Principal Chad Sickbert said. “We used to always do graduation inside, at Memorial Gym. But by having it outside, we will be able to have a larger crowd.”

People will be encouraged to be cautious by being socially distanced from others and wearing a mask when they cannot, Sickbert said.

Forest Park High School will hold its ceremony Saturday, May 29, at Beuchler Arena. Graduates will receive 10 tickets for the ceremony.

“There will be social distancing,” Principal Tyler Lemen said. Everybody will have to wear a mask and make sure that they are monitoring themselves for symptoms.”

This year, the band and choir will be back to perform for the ceremony.

“It will look as normal as possible,” Lemen said, “but with some restrictions.”

Northeast Dubois seniors will graduate at the high school gym on Saturday, May 29. Principal Tara Rasche said this week that attendees will be encouraged to wear a mask and asked to sit with their families and stay socially distanced from other groupings. Graduates will get eight tickets for the ceremony. People are also being asked to carpool if possible to make sure there is enough parking.




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