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After a long year of canceled events, the class of 2021 finally gets to enjoy the best celebration of all, graduation. Ms. Puente and Dr. Lenhart, as well as many others, have been planning the ceremony for quite some time. Here’s what they had to say.
In a typical year, the ceremony is held on the field east of the library, but this year’s graduation ceremony will be held on the football field. According to Dr. Lenhart, the faculty is going to sit behind the stage, which will be in front of the stands. The students will be seated on two sides, and in five tiers. There will still be a student and faculty member running up and down leading the “Scooby Kleybocker Memorial Wave” and the ceremony itself will go through the same process that it normally goes through. Dr. Lenhart stated, “then I get the honor, which I love every year, and I tell them all to stand and that they have graduated and then we process out.”
Ms. Puente said that event planners this year had to think creatively and differently about how they approached ceremonies, events, and sports, and that graduation was no exception. She said that planning for the event happened five or six months ago and that the ceremony would normally require tents, flowers, and golf carts, and the planners were unsure about how they could make that happen. Ms. Puente stated “So one thing I did learn a lot about through this is that when you try to replicate something exactly, and you can’t replicate it, it almost inevitably becomes a disappointment. So, you need to kind of change it enough that it’s something that is unique and special to the occasion.” She discussed how the ceremony would be held at dusk on the football field, and how the sun will set behind the stadium. Because Bernalillo County is currently yellow in terms of COVID-19, each student will be able to invite eight people. Academy will set up large screens on the field, so guests can see students from far away, and they have purchased a new sound system as well.
Although the ceremony will have its differences from years past, both Dr. Lenhart and Ms. Puente iterated that the ceremony itself is similar to other years, and the only big changes are the location, time, and COVID-19 procedures such as wearing masks, and social distancing. On behalf of the Advocate, I would like to congratulate the class of 2021 and wish them all good luck in their future endeavors!