Graduation ceremonies are underway for the high school class of 2020. But safety from the spread of the coronavirus has made it a bit different than students imagined.
“We really wanted to actually have a ceremony of some sort, even if it is strange,” said Dimery Plewe, a graduating senior at Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Plewe is one of the MCHS students who worked alongside administrators, the school board, and the Cortez Police Department to develop an alternative graduation ceremony that meets health safety requirements. The Montezuma County Public Health Department cleared the plan, allowing MCHS to host a drive-thru graduation on Thursday, May 21.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. graduates and their families will drive east on 7th Street in Cortez toward the high school. Spectators are welcome to cheer the graduates as long as they also remain in their cars — and everyone is encouraged to decorate their vehicles in support.
A statement from MCHS says spectators will have to park on the north side of 7th Street, facing west, and should start arriving in the hour prior. The route begins at Madison Street.
Graduates will then approach the stage car-by-car to grab their diplomas while being recognized in a broadcast on KRTZ.
Planning a new ceremony was one of the unexpected changes that seniors like Plewe had to adjust for in their final year of high school.
“Definitely difficult, not necessarily impossible,” she said. “It was just bridges that we had to keep crossing and obstacles we had to jump over.”
Plewe will attend and play golf at Idaho State University in the fall.
Hear her full interview with KSJD below.