Local districts finalize graduation plans

Photos by Tom Rivers: This sign directs graduates to enter a door in the cafeteria at Albion High School. Albion had personalized graduation ceremonies for 135 members of the Class of 2020. Video from those ceremonies will be compiled in a virtual graduation to air for the first time at 20:20 (8:20 p.m.) on Friday.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 June 2020 at 11:37 am

Holley, Kendall will have drive-in commencements

The five school districts in Orleans County will honor graduates in ceremonies Friday and Saturday.

Two districts – Albion and Lyndonville – will do a virtual graduation with the ceremony on-line. Those districts have already presented diplomas to grads and videos from those moments will be compiled and aired on Friday evening.

Seniors at both Albion and Lyndonville will gather on Friday, in their vehicles, for a parade around campus. Lyndonville’s parade will spill out into the community.

Connie Harrison helps her daughter Callie Allport get ready before a personalized graduation ceremony at Albion last Thursday.

Holley and Kendall are having drive-in graduations to accommodate the entire class. The governor has capped the graduation sizes at 150 people. But that doesn’t count people who stay in cars.

Medina has decided to have three graduation programs, with about a third of the class of 118 students at each commencement. The district also is moving the ceremony from the high school auditorium to Vets Park.

Here are the graduation plans for each district:

ALBION – The senior class will gather in vehicles at the middle school parking lot at 6:30. The around the school campus will begin at 7.

The district will present a video of graduation at 20:20, using military time for 8:20 p.m. Click here to be directed to the district’s YouTube channel.

The video include the student speeches by Valedictorian Ashlyn LeBaron, Salutation Katelyn Spierdowis and Class President Angel Rosario Soto. It will also show each graduate receiving their diploma on stage in the high school gym. The district invited students and their families for personalized graduations in the past two weeks. They received their diploma from Kathy Harling, Board of Education president, and were congratulated on stage by Kathy Winans, senior class president; and Michael Bonnewell, the district superintendent. High School Principal Jennifer Ashbery announced the seniors’ names, just like at a typical graduation.

HOLLEY – The district will have the graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the high school parking lot. Students can drive in and sit in vehicles.

“The main thing for the seniors is they all wanted to be together for graduation,” said Sue Cory, the high school principal. “We considered a virtual graduation, but they wanted to be together.”

There will be a stage set up in front of the school. Students can exit their vehicles when their names are called and walked to the stage and accept their diploma. There are 81 members of the class, although three exchange students are already home.

Holley will also announce scholarship winners during commencement and recognize the top 10 graduates.

Holley will be using an FM broadcast system as well as loud speakers.

Parents may exit vehicles to take pictures as their student graduates. There will be a staging area for pictures. Masks must be worn when you leave your vehicle.

When the entire graduating class has received their diplomas, students will be directed to exit their vehicles to toss their caps in front of their cars.

After the ceremony there will be a parade led by fire trucks through the Public Square, down Bennetts Corners Road to Route 31A and ending at the Clarendon fire hall.

“The Class of 2020 is special and will not be forgotten,” Cory said. “We survived this together.”

KENDALL – The district will celebrate graduation on Friday night at 7 on the Kendall Fireman’s Field. The 51 graduates will be socially distanced and sitting in front of a stage.

Family members will be seated in their cars, but will be able to exit to take a photo when their child’s name is called.

All speeches will be presented in person, and the ceremony will end with a parade.

“A special thank you to High School Principal Carol D’Agostino, Senior Advisors Sarah Delmont and Chris Proukou and our custodial crew for their coordination and assistance,” said Julie Christensen, the district superintendent. “ And a thank you to the Kendall Fire Department for their support and organization. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!”

LYNDONVILLE – The district has already had personalized graduations for each student and their families. Those moments will be compiled in a one-hour video to be aired on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. Click here for the district’s YouTube channel.

The video will include graduation speeches, scholarship announcements and awarding of diplomas.

A parade will follow the video. Seniors are encouraged to tune their radios to FM 88.90 for a farewell address from school officials and music throughout the duration of the parade.

Students are encouraged to come to the school in a decorated vehicle with a driver. They will go down to the bus garage, turn around, and line up behind the school resource officer on Housel Avenue.

The community can watch the parade and wave from their vehicles along the route. The route will go by nearly every graduates’ home. Some parents may choose to stay at their residences to watch the parade.

MEDINA – The district decided to have three different commencement celebrations for the Class of 2020, which includes 110 members. Splitting the programs into three groups will allow the district to stay near the 150-person maximum.

The ceremonies will be at Vets Park instead of the high school auditorium. The services will be at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Return to top