Class of 2020 holds unique Graduation Ceremony



By Kelli Bultena

This Saturday, May 9, 2020 a video will be posted by the Lennox School District showing the Lennox High School Class of 2020 graduates walking across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Each student, accompanied by their family entered the High School April 27 to film this milestone achievement. The students walked across the stage in front of their family and a handful of school district employees, a much different scene than the typical packed gymnasium during past graduation ceremonies.

Class of 2020 Valedictorian Madeline Loewe said, “Even though it wasn’t exactly like what I had always pictured, it was still a very sentimental moment. My time in high school felt complete. However, it was very surreal to experience this moment for myself and know that my classmates were having the same experience although we could not all be together. I missed having the crowd’s reaction to my speech, and I really hope that everyone absorbs the message which is the significance of high school and the exciting prospect of all that our futures hold.”

The virtual celebration concludes a unique year for the Class of 2020. The upheaval began on March 17, 2020, when South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced that there would be no school across the state for one week due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. That one week, turned into one month, and that turned into the remainder of the school year.

Many of the events that Seniors look forward to as their last high school experiences were canceled, such as prom, Girl’s State A Basketball Tournament, and spring sports. The cancellations in no way diminish the achievements of the students however, and that is what Lennox High School principal Chad Allison focuses on.

“The class of 2020 deserves to be recognized and honored for their accomplishments. You will accomplish great things! You have proven yourselves time and time again,” Allison said.

You can read his letter to the Class of 2020 in this week’s paper on page 3.

During the virtual ceremony, a welcome was provided by Emma Smidt, Senior Class President. Chad Conaway, Superintendent of Schools and Chad Allison Principal of Lennox High School provided introductions and awarded the diplomas. Madeline Loewe provided the Valedictorian Speech and Parker Sandal provided the Salutatorian Speech. Closing Remarks were provided by Rylee Stoebner.

Another touching moment of the ceremony that still took place was the presentation of the rose, at which time seniors present a rose to their loved ones.

Sixty-seven students accepted diplomas this year, graduates include the following: Kierra Abbas, Cayden Albers, Levi Andernacht, Joshua Arlt*+, Jaxson Benning, Portia Bird, Destiney Blackford+, Gracie Bowers*, Hattie Breck, Trevor Brown, Korben Buum, Elliott Cinco, Marissa Corwin, William Daugherty*+, Grace Dulka*, Rianna Fillipi*+, Paige Fischer, Tanner Gassman, Brook Geiken*+, Kenyah Geiken, Caitlyn George*, Aleigha Glidewell*+, Madisyn Grim, Brendon Hone, Dustin Hopf, Isabel Ihnen*, Jacob Irwin, Koby Jackson, Connor Jelsma, Mickenzie Jibben, Kaleb Johnson*+, Titus King, Taten Kluver, Abigail Kribell*, Matthew Kruid, Tori Kuper*+, Madeline Loewe*+, Alexis Lunstra*+, Jessica Mai, Jacob Marshall, Chance Matson, Haden Mendel, Caleb Metcalf, Austin Metivier+, Mason Miller, Kaylee Munson*+, Quincy Naatjes, Victoria Niezwaag, Eli Olson, Hailey Peterson, Naomi Reiss*+, Kira Richter, Parker Sandal*+, Emma Smidt*+, Kadin Smidt+, Ryan Smidt, Gavin Smit, Hailey Spoonemore, Rylee Stoebner, Josie Stucky*+, John Villareal, Madysen Vlastuin, Landon Wagner, Riley Williams*+, Unique Young, Benjamin Zarr, Aiden Zimmer, (* denotes Gold Cord, + denotes Regents Scholar).

This video of the virtual ceremony will be available for the public to view on May 9th, likely to be posted on the Lennox School District YouTube page.

Also on Saturday, May 9th there will be a Senior Graduation Parade starting at 1:30 p.m. The parade will start on Main Street and Hwy. 44 with students and immediate family following a preplanned route through Lennox, Chancellor and Worthing. Maps are available at www.lennoxnews.com.

In Lennox, parking for those wishing to watch the parade will be available on Main Street, the football field parking lot or available parking spots along the route. Please park in every other parking spot to maintain appropriate distances; stay in or near your car.

School correspondence encourages those watching to make signs to hold up or decorate your home, sidewalk or vehicle to show support and encouragement for graduates as they drive by.

It was also noted again that physical distancing measures will be expected of everyone and do not attend if you are not feeling well.

These events do not take the place of a full graduation ceremony. The Lennox School District has stated that if CDC guidelines permit, they hope to hold a formal graduation ceremony later this summer.


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© 2020 Lennox Independent