While everyone across the globe this time last year was grappling with how to do the normal things in life amid a pandemic, things this year are a bit more settled and in-person senior traditions will be happening at McClain, albeit with what remains of current COVID-19 restrictions.
As the class of 2021 prepares to embark on life beyond school, activities to honor the milestone will be happening this week.
Things actually started off on May 12 with the honors convocation for seniors, held in the auditorium. The event was livestreamed and the video can be found on the McClain High School Facebook page.
On May 16 the baccalaureate, an annual event organized by the Greenfield Area Ministerial Association, was held. Attendance was limited.
Additionally, due to pandemic restrictions, parents will be not be able to personally take photos as their senior walks down the McClain marble staircase prior to the ceremony. However, Kensly Jett Photography will be taking photos of the seniors as they make that long-awaited walk. Those photos will be available at the school within the week. Parents can contact Kensly Jett Photography for their free social media sharing download and to order additional prints if they like.
With last year’s restrictions and a much different looking senior year, the village of Greenfield offered the graduating class a parade. It’s something that the village has decided to continue. This year’s parade of graduates is planned for Wednesday, May 19.
Seniors are to meet at the Jefferson Street Business Center (old Pamida building) parking lot at 5:30 p.m. where they will be lined up for the procession.
The cruise-in is set to begin at 6 p.m. The plan is for WVNU to announce the seniors as they cruise Jefferson Street. The village encourages 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 village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page.
Following the cruise-in, there will be a senior fun night and lock-in, something McClain Principal Matt Shelton said was started a couple years ago in lieu of senior pranks. Weather permitting, seniors will be able to grill out, hang out, and play at the football field and student parking lot.
Thursday, May 20 brings the senior assembly, followed by the senior tea. Seniors and their parents may attend. That evening is also the senior recognition for Laurel Oaks, which will be held at the Clinton County Fairgrounds.
The morning of Friday, May 21 is practice for the evening’s commencement, then the parade of graduates, where seniors go to all the elementaries and visit with students.
The graduation ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m. If the weather allows, the ceremony will be held on the football field, which will allow each senior 10 guests. If the ceremony must be moved to the new gym, seniors will only be allowed three guests. Administrators will be monitoring the weather forecast in the days leading up to graduation and will make a decision on whether it will be indoors or outdoors on the morning of May 20. Graduation will be livestreamed on Facebook. Mike Seely, as in years past, will be taking photographs of the seniors as they receive their diplomas.
Prior to the graduation ceremony on May 21 from 6:00-6:30 p.m., the McClain Pre-Commencement Prayer Service will be held at First Presbyterian Church. During the event, sponsored by the church and the Greenfield Area Ministerial Association, seniors are each prayed for by name and a candle lit for each. Pandemic-related restrictions will be followed at the service. For those who are unable to attend in person, the event will be livestreamed on the First Presbyterian Church Facebook page. For more information, contact Mike Anderson at 937-876-9868.
“We are excited to recognize and celebrate our seniors in a variety of different ways and feel fortunate to be able to hold these events,” superintendent Quincey Gray said. “Our staff wishes the class of 2021 the very best. Congratulations to the students and their families. We look forward to celebrating with you.”
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools.