College generic graduation mortarboard graduate

Mooresville High School will hold graduation for the class of 2020 June 13 but with a much different look.

MHS Principal Eric Schwarzenegger announced the plans Friday afternoon. He will conduct a virtual question and answer session Monday at 5 p.m. The link for the meeting will be emailed to senior families through ConnectEd and to seniors through Canvas. The session will be recorded and shared with families who are unable to attend.

Graduation will begin at 8:30 a.m. June 13 on the MHS campus. Graduates need to be at their assigned locations by 8:15 a.m.

Each graduate will go to a designated parking lot at MHS, and they must be in a vehicle. Only one vehicle per graduate will be allowed on campus and they may have family members and/or friends of their choosing in the vehicle.

Schwarzenegger said vehicles must be cars, trucks, SUVs or minivans. Larger vehicles such as buses, motor vehicles, limousines, campers, box trucks, 15-passenger vans, etc. will not be permitted.

Graduates should arrive in their cap and gown, and due to the circumstances the class has endured, students will be permitted to decorate their caps, provided they remain school-appropriate.

At 8:30 a.m. the graduation will commence with speeches by the principal, superintendent, chairman of the school board and select members of the senior class.

These speeches will be broadcast through Facebook Live and a local radio station.

Schwarzenegger said it is critical that graduates and their guests remain in their vehicles throughout the program to be in compliance with state orders. The only exception will be when the graduates walk across the stage and receive their diploma. Failing to follow this rule may result in the individual being removed from the premises, he said.

Following the speeches, the graduates will proceed in their vehicle along a designated route to the stage, which will be set up in front of the main campus. As graduates’ vehicles approach the front of the campus, graduates will get out of their vehicles and tell their name and pronunciation to a staff member. Only the graduate will be allowed out of the vehicle.

The graduate’s name will be called as he or she walks across the stage. The graduate will pick up their diploma from a table, take a picture with Schwarzenegger at an appropriate distance and then walk off the stage. A copy of the photograph will be provided, at no cost, to each graduate at a later time.

The passengers in the graduate’s vehicle will be able to observe the graduate walking across the stage at a location near the stage to cheer.

After getting back in their vehicles, graduates will proceed along a designated processional route that will be determined by the town of Mooresville.

Family, friends and members of the community will be allowed to park along the processional route to cheer the graduates as they drive through.

Schwarzenegger said this approach was arrived at through several meetings with a senior advisory group and through a parent/guardian survey.

“This plan provides each graduate with their moment to walk across the stage and receive their diploma,” Schwarzenegger said. “Immediate family members are able to be present, and the larger school community will be able to participate through a vehicular procession of graduates to share in the celebration. Furthermore, this plan keeps our tradition of holding the graduation ceremony on our campus and highlights our continued support from the town of Mooresville. We know there is no decision that will satisfy everyone. However, we believe that the plan we have developed maintains safety while also providing our seniors with a ceremony that highlights this great accomplishment.”

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