Vale High School (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)
VALE – Local high schools plan to have their graduation ceremonies in-person this year, with varying degrees of adaptations for the risk of Covid.
At Adrian High School, graduation will take place on Sunday, May 30, at 6 p.m.
“We’re definitely moving ahead with plans to do an in-person graduation,” said Bill Wortman, the principal of Adrian, adding that the ceremony was planned to be outdoors.
Adrian’s small size, however – 18 students – means that few other adaptations for Covid will be needed.
Adrian’s valedictorian is Clay Ready, and the salutatorian is Brylie Teanna Pierce.
At Vale High School, graduation will take place on the football field, at 1 p.m. Sunday, on May 30. Each student will receive only four tickets, a Covid-era limitation. There are two valedictorians, Alysa Dotson and Jenifer Zanabriga, and four salutatorians, Emersyn Johnson, Hannah Lamb, Whitney Milleson, and Matyson Siddoway.
Brett Jackman, principal at Nyssa High School, said that the plan was to do an in-person graduation on their football field for the graduating class of 80 students at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 30.
As in Vale, Jackman said that there would be limits on attendance due to Covid. He also said that there would be social distancing and masks.
“We just are really needing all of our students and families to make sure they’re following Covid procedures and wearing masks and social distancing, and if kids are sick that they stay home, so we can make that graduation a reality,” Jackman said.
Nyssa has four valedictorians - Kaleb Draper, Qyonee Mitchell, Kailani Schulthies, and Lydia Woodruff, and Sara Stephen is the salutatorian.
Ontario High School, the largest in Malheur County with a graduating class of 170, has by far the most elaborate Covid adaptations for its graduation plans.
Graduation for the Tigers will take place in the football stadium at 6 p.m Wednesday, June 2. Graduates will be socially distanced in the stands, with the staff, band and choir on the football field.
To avoid limiting the number of relatives accompanying each graduate, families will operate as “pods.” Each pod must remain masked while on campus and socially distance from other pods. The pods will move two or three at a time into the stadium.
When a graduate’s pod has entered the stadium, they will join up with their family and move to the bottom of the stairs. Then the graduate will cross the stage, and the pod will be able to move onto the track to take pictures and cheer on their student.
After the student has received their diploma, their pod will leave the stadium and the student will return to the stands to cheer on their classmates.
“So proud of our seniors and happy we are in a position to give them this formal recognition,” said a handout from the Ontario administration.
Ontario has 20 valedictorians: Karalyn Matsumura, Alexander Nutt, Destiny Gonzalez, Jessica Brown, Ruben Chavez, Andrew Rodriguez, Troy Quintero, Cynthia Bauer, Jasmin De La Cruz Reyes, Tiffany Nelson, Lizbeth Manriguez, Kenneth Hartley, Jennifer Anguiano-Cisneros, Evelyn Lamas, Jennifer Gonzalez, Kady Tidwell, Boston Garcia, Josh Kaatz, Blake Trees, and Roman Manzo.
Jordan Valley High School and Four Rivers Community School have already had their graduations.
This was Four Rivers’ second-ever class graduated from high school.
News tip? Contact Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577.
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