Senior Week is meant to recognize the graduating students as they mark a major milestone and prepare to embark on the next chapter in their lives. While the circumstances of the global Covid-19 pandemic may have robbed the 2020 graduates of prom, graduation ceremonies, graduation parties, sports and other social events with fellow classmates, it will not rob them of the memories that are being made during this strange and difficult time.
“As a district, we wanted to do everything possible to honor our seniors the best that we could during the current circumstances,” said Greenfield Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Quincey Gray. “We appreciate the support of our whole community in helping us give them the recognition they deserve during this difficult time.”
McClain Senior Week kicks off Sunday, May 17 with baccalaureate. While seniors were unable to descend the marble staircase as a class on the night of the ceremony, as is the tradition at McClain and a right of passage for seniors, in individually recorded sessions, each senior donned cap and gown and traveled the marble steps.
The footage will be shown during a virtual baccalaureate ceremony on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. and will be available for viewing on the Greenfield Area Ministerial Association’s Facebook page. Members of the association will present the program.
On May 18, a virtual presentation will be offered beginning at 7 p.m. and will consist of video segments previously recorded in the auditorium of seniors telling of their most memorable experiences at McClain. It will be available to view on the McClain High School website.
May 19 brings the honors convocation. The virtual presentation will be available for viewing at 7 p.m. on the district website. It will include the awarding of scholarships and other awards, as well as video footage submitted by scholarship donors.
On May 20, the McClain football field will be lit up from 8:20 to 8:40 p.m. to honor this year’s graduates. The facilities will be closed, and anyone gathering near the school is asked to practice social distancing. McClain teacher Tim Bolender will paint the football field for the event. Residents of the village are invited to turn on their outdoor lights during this time in recognition of the graduating class.
A parade of graduates is planned for May 21, and is being organized by the village of Greenfield. Seniors are to meet at the Highland County Community Action (old Shopko/Pamida) parking lot where they will be lined up for the procession. At no time is anyone to exit their vehicle as social distancing is to be observed. Seniors are invited to wear their caps and decorate their cars.
The cruise-in is set to begin at 6 p.m. In alphabetical order, seniors’ names, as well as their future plans, will be announced on WVNU as the students “bop the circuit,” aka Jefferson Street. The village previously encouraged the community to turn out for the seniors and celebrate them from front porches and sidewalks. A post containing the information for seniors can be found on the Greenfield Facebook page.
On May 22, the virtual commencement ceremony, which will have everything that a commencement ceremony typically has, will be available for viewing at 7 p.m. on the McClain High School website. Graduates were previously filmed individually walking the marble staircase and receiving their diplomas in preparation for the virtual events of Senior Week.
For district information, go to the district website at greenfield.k12.oh.us and the district’s Facebook page. To view the virtual events of Senior Week, go to the district website above, go to “schools,” then click on McClain High School.
“I personally want to thank the staff at McClain High School for going above and beyond in this unprecedented time,” McClain Principal Jason Potts said. “We really tried to make it as special as we possibly could for our seniors under the given circumstances. I do have to individually thank Mr. Drew Hamilton and Mr. Nathan Luke. None of the virtual presentations would be possible without them. Also, thank you to Mr. Tim Bolender for painting the football field for our light-up event on May 20th.
“The MHS class of 2020 will always hold a special place in our hearts,” Potts added. “We truly wish them the best of luck.”
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.