PLYMOUTH â€“ Terryville High School staff will conduct a â€śsenior paradeâ€ť driving by graduatesâ€™ homes Thursday before they come to the school later that day for a drive-thru graduation ceremony.
The parade is being organized by Bob Nave, social studies department coordinator, and Shannon Erickson, world language teacher at Terryville High School. It will be held between 10 a.m. and noon on Thursday, with a rain date set for Friday.
â€śSo far 14 teachers have signed up to participate and Iâ€™m sure that many more are coming,â€ť said Nave, early afternoon on Monday. â€śThey will all be creating hand-made signs and meeting at the school at 9 a.m. to decorate their cars. They will then drive out to the neighborhoods with a police escort. We will also be visiting the 8th graders who will be coming in to Terryville High School next year.â€ť
Nave said that the parade was intended to be a morale boost and a celebration of graduatesâ€™ achievements.
â€śOur primary goal is to show students our strong support,â€ť said Nave. â€śWe donâ€™t have that critical one on one time that we used to so this is our way of showing that we care about their health and safety and successes. This is will be our first time seeing them in months and weâ€™ve missed them.â€ť
Terryville High Schoolâ€™s graduation ceremony will he held starting at 4 p.m. Three waves of graduates will be coming to the high school, starting to line-up at 3:30 p.m. Graduates will be limited to 5 people in a car as they pull up to where the busses drop-off. There, a state will be set up and the diploma will be placed on the podium. Faculty will be standing, 10 feet apart, along the route to congratulate them.
Once at the drop-off area, graduates will be able to get out of their car and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Michael Hults, principal, and other school staff will be on the other side of the podium. No masks will be required due to everyone keeping at a safe distance. Once they take their diploma, graduates will get back into their cars and drive out the back exit.
Additionally, a video is being put together of the class president, the valedictorian, the salutatorian, the essayist and school leaders giving their speeches. This will be emailed out to graduates before the graduation ceremony to watch before or after. Later, these videos will be combined with footage of the drive-thru graduation to make a commemorative video.
Hults said that he is pleased with the way that the school is doing its graduation considering the circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic.
â€śWeâ€™re happy with it, especially when you consider some of the other options available,â€ť he said. â€śThis way allows parents to get close and to take a picture of their graduate crossing the state. Some places are having everyone there at once in their cars like a drive-in movie. We wanted to take away the stress of worrying about having good parking and getting close.â€ť
Superintendent of Schools Martin Semmel said he is excited for graduation day.
â€śItâ€™s not the same as a traditional graduation ceremony, but the high school team put together the best graduation that they can to show respect to graduates and their families,â€ť he said.
For the parade route and times, visit ths.plymouth.k12.ct.us.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.