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From students to alumni: historical class of 2020 graduates



Despite numerous setbacks, Wadsworth High School’s class of 2020 was able to graduate together on Sunday, June 28 in the student parking lot. The ceremony may not have been what the graduating seniors had been anticipating after twelve long years of schooling, but they united for one final time for commencement. 

In order to uphold social distancing guidelines, the seniors and their families were required to stay in their own personal vehicles for the duration of the ceremony. The student lot opened at 11 AM and the cars piled in, awaiting the noon start time. 

The ceremony kicked off with a welcome from Danielle Cheff, senior class president. Next was Bethany Baker speaking on behalf of academics, Samantha Schaffer speaking about athletics, and Abigail Dadich speaking about the arts.

Matthew Bugajski walks off of the outdoor stage after receiving his diploma from Mr. Moore. Photo by Axel Mueller

Hannah Hughes, a graduating senior, appreciated this year’s speakers.

“The speeches each had their own personality in a sense,” said Hughes. “You could tell that each student who spoke meant every word they said.”

Though she enjoyed the student speakers, her favorite part was Mr. Moore’s speech. She reported that saying goodbye to the principal that she has known for her entire high school career proved to be difficult.

“He’s such a down to earth person and hearing him speak about us made me cry [because we were] getting one final moment with him,” said Hughes.

After the student speakers wrapped up their speeches, it was time for the seniors to line up in their vehicles to receive their diplomas. This was a long process, as each student was able to exit their vehicle in order to walk across a stage on the hill overlooking the parking lot. They shook Mr. Moore’s hand, took their diploma and were able to take a picture courtesy of Glen Rutherford.

Riley Tucker, a graduating senior, said that this was the highlight of the day. Though they wish that their class was able to have a normal ceremony, they were just grateful to be able to be together for a final time before going separate ways.

The commencement speakers stand together in the student parking lot for the Star Spangled Banner before delivering speeches to their peers. Photo by Axel Mueller

“It made me happy to hear all of our names being read and it really felt like a good ending to our high school career,” said Tucker.

The seniors then had the option to leave commencement after receiving their diploma or to stay for the tassel ceremony. The tassel ceremony is a symbolic moment when the seniors transform from students to alumni, moving their tassel from the right side to the left.

After the ceremony, Tucker shared their sentimental thoughts about the conclusion of senior year.

“Senior year was the best year of high school,” said Tucker. “I got to experience so many things and make a lot of memories that I’ll keep with me forever. Even though it was cut short, I now know that I can make it through whatever challenges come my way.”

Though it may not have been their vision of the perfect commencement ceremony, the class of 2020 was still able to celebrate the end of their academic career at Wadsworth High School. After many bumps in the road and less than ideal situations this school year, these seniors have now earned the right to call themselves alumni.

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From students to alumni: historical class of 2020 graduates