Schoolcraft creatively honors graduates

The SHS graduation ceremony followed recommended guidelines.

By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe

Community members and school leaders paid tribute to Schoolcraft High School’s 82 graduates in many ways throughout this unusual academic year, culminating in a socially distanced-ceremony and a coordinated “Shine the Light” parade.

In June, an anonymous donor contributed a huge boulder, a symbol of the class of 2020 graduates’ strength and solid reputation, now permanently placed at the stadium flagpole. Principal Matthew Dailey directed an event, painting hands and celebrating the 82 seniors who left their handprints on the rock.

The community continued to celebrate these students: In addition to yard signs to decorate seniors’ yards, poster-sized pictures of the SHS graduates line the athletic field fence. The highly visible gesture is another community member’s gift to recognize these students and the unusual circumstances of their senior year.

On July 24 and 25, Dailey visited many graduates’ homes to deliver diplomas and to greet students and families. Dailey appreciated the ability to personalize the moments for his students, saying each stop “was an especially valuable and meaningful experience for me, and one I will most certainly remember as a highlight during the difficulty of a pandemic.”

Following the appropriate guidelines, on Friday, July 24, the district held a graduation ceremony on the athletic field for the 147th graduating class of SHS. Recognizing students, family, and staff, Dailey addressed the students: “The unrelenting support of the Schoolcraft community has been on honoring your achievements, thanking you for your contributions to our school community, and sharing our excitement for all of the future possibilities ahead for you.”

Finally, at 9 p.m., students loaded school buses for an event called “Shine the Light.” Following a planned route throughout the village and outlying neighborhoods, area residents greeted the graduates by flashing lights and sounding horns, helping to close a meaningful and memorable day.

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