NAPOLEON — Napoleon Area City Schools has announced it is planning to hold a virtual graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 on May 24 at 2 p.m.

A letter sent Monday to parents/guardians of seniors by Napoleon principal Ryan Wilde, shared the district is working with Jostens, and its Virtual Graduation Center, to create the commencement ceremony, which will be pre-recorded. The ceremony will include music, commencement speeches, the presentation of diplomas, the turning of tassels and the cap toss. Included in the ceremony will be a “Senior Spotlight” for each senior.

The ceremony will be shared on the district’s Facebook page on May 24 at 2 p.m.

“Although we were not expecting such a celebration for the class of 2020 at the beginning of the school year, nor have I experienced anything like this before over the course of my 25-year career in education, Napoleon High School and our community can still honor the class of 2020 by rejoicing in their accomplishments,” said Wilde in the letter.

Prior to the ceremony, seniors are asked to complete their “Senior Spotlight” so that it can be used in the ceremony. Those who are not finished are asked to contact Kelly Cooper at kcooper@napoleonareaschools.org. Meanwhile, government officials, area businesses and community members, working with school representatives, will purchase senior banners, using each “Senior Spotlight” photo, that will hang on street lights throughout downtown Napoleon until fall.

In addition, all seniors will be provided with a yard sign to display, and when the banners are removed in the fall, each graduate will receive his or her banner. It has also been announced that the junior class has purchased all seniors a Chromebook, meaning all seniors can keep their school-issued device. For seniors who were not issued a Chromebook, send an email to technology@napoleonareaschools.org.

In order to prepare for commencement, seniors will be asked to sign up for a time during the week of May 18-22 that he or she can report to school for a graduation photo wearing his or her cap and gown. An electronic invitation will be sent to all seniors, so they can sign up for a time and date. After reporting to the school on the specified date and time, the senior will receive his or her diploma and he or she will be able to take it home at that time.

During the virtual commencement, seniors are encouraged to take photos and videos, especially during the presentation of diplomas, the turning of tassels and the cap toss. Those will be added to the original virtual commencement. Photos and videos should be sent to Cooper at kcooper@napoleonarea schools.org by May 31. A video will be produced to include the footage, as well as the cap and gown photo for each senior.

The final graduation ceremony, and the additional photos and videos, will be available in June to all seniors.

“Napoleon High School graduation commencement is a well-deserved and time-honored tradition,” said Wilde. “We recognize and value our ceremony. I have had the opportunity to participate in many of them over the last several decades, as a teacher and as an administrator.

Added Wilde: “While I have been principal, I have made the same statement near the end of the ceremony which is, ‘It truly takes a village to raise a child. I thank you for allowing us the opportunity to participate in raising your children. As they exit together one last time, I hope we have fulfilled your expectations by assisting you in making them fine young men and women.’”

For more information, call 419-599-1050.

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