A personalized graduation

Graduation 2020 was not the pomp and circumstance that some may have dreamed about, but at GMG, staff tried their best to make the most out of a difficult situation.

The Green Mountain-Garwin School District opted for a more personalized ceremony for all 34 students in the graduating class. Each student was allowed to pick a 10 minute time slot and invite up to 10 family members and friends. Students and their families arrived at the school at their designated time. Upon entering the school, students were greeted by staff and then had an opportunity to take pictures in front of the GMG backdrop.

While several aspects of the graduation ceremony were different this year, there were some long-standing traditions that were able to continue. Something they have done for many years is to have flowers available for the senior students to give to their mom, parent or family member.

After photos were taken, families were ushered into the gym. The student then walked down an aisle to a song of their choosing. Some chose the ever popular “Pomp and Circumstance” while others chose songs such as “Sweet Caroline”.

Another long standing tradition is naming the Class Valedictorian, Salutatorian and other such awards. The 2020 Valedictorian was Cameron Mummert, Salutatorian was Robert Hartsell, Alex Mahan and Xander Campbell were each Citizenship Award recipients and Justin Savatdy earned the Bernie Saggau Award.

For the ceremony GMG Principal, Nathan Kleinmeyer gave a short speech for each graduate, read any awards the students received and presented the student with their diploma.

Students then walked back down the aisle and had another photo opp including a photo with their diploma and a photo in front of a green screen which will show them throwing a cap.

While many of the students were hoping to experience this milestone with their friends, they were grateful to have the experience at all.

Senior Colby Gray shared “The fulfillment of high school was nice. It was weirder than it should have been but still what I wanted.”

Gray admitted not being in school wasn’t necessarily the worst thing. “It was very weird not graduating with my classmates.”

He didn’t know quite what to expect with the ceremony but was happy with the way it turned out.

Tabby Kauten and Madi Anderson had their ceremonies one right after the other.

“It was personalized so that was kind of cool,” said Kauten.

“But we wish it was with our whole class,” said Madi Anderson.

After the ceremony, the two girls planned to eat some ice cream cake.

“We had kind of been waiting for the last 12 years to have these sad special moments,” said Kauten, “We didn’t really get that.”

“We missed out on a lot,” added Anderson.

“I think our family and friends were really trying to make it special,” said Kauten.

It was a day of mixed emotions for parents as well who have also dreamed of this special moment as families prepare for their graduates to venture into the Adult World in the coming months.

“It was a rough day. You are sad because they are graduating but we are glad she got to do something,” said one mom named Pam.