High schools set commencement plans; districts go with variety of ways

Districts go with variety of ways

News Journal staff

In order to avoid mass gatherings, the four public school districts in Clinton County will stage alternative versions of the traditional high school graduation.

East Clinton

East Clinton will do a combination of a single family (at a time) in-person graduation and a virtual commencement ceremony.

For the single family in-person graduation, each student may bring their parents and, if applicable, step parents or legal guardian. Students will walk down the left side of the high school gymnasium to a marked spot, and then walk across the stage and receive their diploma from Superintendent Eric Magee as Principal Michael Adams announces the graduate’s name.

Families will have the opportunity — weather permitting — to drive down to the football field and take a photo with the scoreboard lit up with 2020.

After their walk on stage, students will have a photo and video for tassel turn and cap throwing. The goal is to put together a virtual ceremony that in the end will represent the East Clinton High School graduation as a whole.

The EC virtual commencement video will be shown on the East Clinton Facebook page on Friday, May 22 at 6 p.m.

“Our goal has always been to try and find a way to allow our seniors and their families to have an opportunity to wear their cap and gown, to walk a stage and for their families to be a part of this,” states the EC website.


Clinton-Massie will have a virtual ceremony, scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, May 23. This virtual and video and storyboard commencement will be linked to the CM district website homepage and will be presented through a YouTube platform.

“We hope to encompass all of the traditional elements of a commencement experience combined together with music, pictures, speeches, and videos that we are compiling,” said Clinton-Massie High School Principal Aaron Seewer.

An image of each graduate will be used in the virtual commencement slide show.

The Star-Spangled Banner will be sung by CM senior Olivia Swicegood. The Alma Mater will be played by senior Mackenzie Click. There will be speeches from the class president, valedictorian and salutatorian.

There will be an “In Memoriam” observance in memory of Brian Mudd and Kirsty Creech. For this, the “Irish Blessing” song will be presented by high school Choral Director Erin Hales as vocalist.

The presentation of graduate candidates will include slides of graduate pictures, future plans, and words of encouragement.

Prior to the virtual commencement, Clinton-Massie will distribute diplomas with covers, transcripts, and commencement programs to all seniors on May 22 in drive-through style in front of the high school.


Blanchester High School will conduct a “Drive-Thru Graduation” on Saturday morning, May 23.

With this format, students and their families drive up to the front high school entrance (wearing masks). Only the student gets out of the car to receive the diploma. The assistant principal says the name of the student on a loudspeaker.

A photo and/or video is taken of the student by a professional photographer. All of the cars are to stay in a single-file line.

Valedictorian(s) will be recorded on a separate day.

To honor the members of the BHS Class of 2020, every student’s special moment will be recorded to complete the Blanchester High School graduation DVD. Viewing information will be provided at a later date.


As previously reported in the News Journal, the Wilmington High School senior class officers, Class Advisor Matt Geggie, and the WCS staff planned over a number of weeks multiple ways to honor the Class of 2020 in the midst of a pandemic.

They have incorporated traditions like the Senior Sign blitz and even added new twists. Along with placing the graduate sign at each senior’s residence, there will be a caravan of teachers drive up to cheer them on and present them with a goodie bag of items donated by the community and organized by a parent group.

At designated times, the staff will have the traditional Hurricane-style graduation stage set up and a professional photographer will be there to photograph each graduate on stage with their diploma and their parents — something that they aren’t able to do in a traditional graduation.

Each senior will receive a free photo from the school.

The virtual commencement itself will be held as a Facebook Live Premiere at 7 p.m. Friday, May 22.

Seniors, their families and friends are invited to tune in to the WHS Facebook page where they will hear a speech from the class president, comments from school administration, share a special moment to honor the U.S. military, hear the traditional reading of individual graduate names, and witness the turning of the tassel.

After the premiere, the video will be available on the school website for viewing.

Districts go with variety of ways

News Journal staff