Lamoille Union High School’s graduating seniors packed into vehicles with family and friends in tow — or towing them — for their COVID-19-compliant graduation ceremony on Saturday.
Lamoille’s 116 graduates were asked to remain in their vehicles until called upon, in a drive-up and walk-through event at the school’s Hyde Park campus.
The process was fairly simple; the graduates had to arrive and stay in their own vehicles, although a few did double up and share a ride with a fellow Class of 2020er. School officials asked graduates to keep it to one car apiece of family and friends joining them to support and celebrate, but a few did bring more.
Graduates lined up in alphabetical order in their vehicles, proceeding up the school parking lot toward Green Mountain Tech and then back down past the middle school, then over to the entrance to the high school.
There, in front of the Lancer sign out front, each grad exited their car alone, walked down a red carpet and up on stage to their chosen walk-up music, picked up their bagged diploma without any direct person-to-person contact with those on stage, and then headed offstage for a photo op in front of the Lancer sign. Then, back in the car and drive away.
A line of socially distanced staff members cheered them on, and fellow grads still waiting in line honked their congratulations.
All graduates were encouraged to deck out their rides for the ceremony, or to get creative in what ride they were in. Some went heavy on decorations —signs, balloons, graffiti and more. Others hopped in the back of a pickup truck, usually with plenty of company and celebratory décor. Some rode in antique cars; others stood on a seat so they could stand tall through the sunroof.
One graduate, Nadya Bean, rolled up in a stretch SUV limo with a driver/doorman who did some fancy driving to get the elongated vehicle out of the bus lane and headed off campus. That slowed things down a little, but with all the cheers and honking, no one seemed to mind.
The entire graduation ceremony — including the walk-up tunes and dance moves — was recorded. Graduation speeches by Superintendent Cat Gallagher and Principal Brian Schaffer were prerecorded for the ceremony. So were remarks by a pair of 2020 graduates, Student Council President Wenzdae Wendling and Senior Class President Jake Randall — the self-styled “Best Senior Class President Ever” — along a musical selection by graduate Griffin Koss, a poem written and read by staff member Tammy Irish, and “Pomp and Circumstance” recorded online by the Lamoille Union band.
The ceremonies can be viewed at bit.ly/luhsgrad.
The 116 graduating seniors at Lamoille Union High School
Amelia Adams, Noah Allen, Sierra Alonso-Gonyo, Courtney Aube, Brandan Baker, Malcom Baptiste, Hailey Barry, Corbin Bartusewich, Kira Beach, Nadya Bean, Ezra Bechtoldt, Moriah Bennion, Hannah Bettis, Adeline Bonath, Jakob Boyer, Melina Brooks, Macey Brown, Gage Brown, Tucker Bullard, Abijah Buttendorf.
Michael Cameron, Opal Carney, Emmaleigh Case, Haleigh Case, Ian Castonguay, Marcus Center, Carrie Chaleff, Dylan Cochran, Anthony Corbally, Kara Cote, Kayla Daigle-Arnold, Anouck de Ridder, Luigi Diana, Warren Dompierre, Anna Draper.
Emma Edgley, Aleeha Eldred, Thomas Faucher, EmiLee Fowler, Lhea Foy, MegAnne Gilmore, Jaiden Govea, Robin Granito, Matthew Harrington, Kyle Harrington, Aubrey Harris, Jasper Henderson, Tayler Hoadley, Molly Hurlburt.
Cheyenne Ingalls, Nicholas Ingalls, William Jameson, Colby Jennison, Elainna Joyal, Madelyn Kennedy, Griffin Koss, Raymond Lacasse, Chase Lafoe, Torri Lamb, Dezerae Lambert, Madison Lamothe, Jakob Lashomb, Amanda Lavery, Ana Maria Lela, Katherine Locke, Lily Loomis, Benjamin Lowe.
Cyrus MacDonough, Avery Mansur, Brandon Marsh, Addison Martin, Hunter Maskell, Keagan Mason, Katherine Mathison-Regan, Logan McCrea, Collin Mesick, Elijah Miller, Holdyn Newell, John O'Hear, Samantha Pai, Caleb Patch, Harlee Peavey, Chandler Perry, Jasmine Perry, Jasmine Perry, Kalvien Poe, Jonathan Post, Zachary Privee, Cole Putvain.
Jacob Randall, Erika Reinecke, Benjamin Ring, Summer Russin, Kasey Sheltra, Me’Kayla Shifflett, Keagan Simpson, Sara Skarova, Maple Snow, Kaylee Spaulding, Olivia Stebbins, Jabyn Stone, Ava Swan, Dominique Swanson, Carissa Szabo.
Arthur Teale, Felicia Therrien, Jillian Thomas, Lauren Tourangeau, Dustin Trombly, Gracie Verner, Shania Weisler, Wenzdae Wendling, Alethea Whitten, Jordyn Wood, Tara Wootton, Ryan Wright.