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Warren High announces graduation days

Warren High School graduation will be live-streamed over the final three days of July, replacing the traditional full-crowd gathering hoped for this summer.

“We’ll run it more like a whole bunch of individual graduations, but live stream the whole thing,” explained Principal Ryan Lemley on Tuesday. “This is what we’ve worked out with the health department that will both allow for families to participate with their graduate and still adhere to health guidelines for distancing and not bringing huge crowds together.”

Lemley explained that 172 seniors are to walk across the high school stage at the close of July, receive their diploma and have their awards and scholarships announced during the digitized ceremony and then the footage will also be edited into a post-production video for public viewing after the live events conclude.

Originally, he explained, when coronavirus postponed in-person graduation gatherings until this summer, the district had hoped to gather seniors, their family and friends on July 31.

But the in-person gathering isn’t the only tradition seeing adjustments.

“Each year we also have a top ten banquet where we offer the top students of the class to also give speeches recognizing the teachers that were most influential and impactful on their lives,” explained Lemley. “We’ll still have a form of that with our valedictorians and salutatorian speaking the first day then walking in their groups during the assigned times by last name.”

Thomas Miller, 18, of Warren Township, is one of the class valedictorians now adding impacts of the virus to his speech and looking for the good between all of the adjustments.

“It’s a bummer to end this way, but I hope (the class of 2020) also realizes how much bigger things are than high school… and parents/family know we’ve learned to not take things for granted I guess,” said Miller, who is coming to grips more so with the loss of a spring sport season than the cancelation of the prom last week. “This helped me realize better that things aren’t forever, but we’ve been through tough stuff together.”

Miller said he plans to attend Ohio Northern University this fall to begin studies in pharmaceutical sciences.

Graduates are allowed to bring up to six family members to their allotted time to walk, and will be specifically guided through when and where to enter and exit Building 6 at the district campus during their designated time slot.

“That’s allowing us to keep the numbers of people together below the guide for 10, with myself and their guidance counselor there with them,” said Lemley.

Additional guidance and specific 75-minute time slots for families to attend with their graduate, organized by the graduate’s last name, was sent to students via email.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

Warren High School graduation procedure:

-Graduates are allowed to bring six family members with them during their allotted times.

-The graduate and their family will be brought into the gym on an individual basis.

-During the allotted time slot, graduates and families are to line up outside the main doors of Building 6.

– Allotted time slots are arranged by last name of the graduate.

– The schedule is as follows:

– Wednesday: 1-3 p.m. Top Ten speeches to teachers and speeches of valedictorians/salutatorian.

– Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ahart-Mantz. (see school email for 75-minute windows).

– Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Matheny-Yost.

* Graduates’ scholarships and awards will also be announced with the granting of diplomas.

-If too many graduate family groups arrive at once, event security will direct attendees to remain in vehicles.

-Attendees and graduates are to stay physically distanced by utilizing blue “X” marks on the sidewalk.

-Graduates and their families will be directed when to enter the building, graduates will enter the gym door near the men’s locker room.

-Graduates will be directed when to proceed to receive their diploma in the awarding area.

-After receiving their diploma, graduates will exit the door near the women’s locker room and immediately exit the building using the door above the health room.

-Graduates and families will not be permitted to loiter in the parking lot.

-Masks are recommended but not, as of Tuesday required by the Washington County Health Department. *This guidance is subject to change and greater enforcement by the time of graduation.

-Graduation events on all three days, July 29-31, will be live-streamed on MOV2go.net and will be edited in post-production for later public viewing available through the district website.

Source: Warren High School Administration.

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