MONROVIA, Ind.–It won’t be your typical graduation, but the administration at Monrovia High School says they will not let the coronavirus get in the way of giving their seniors the send-off they deserve.
A graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 is scheduled for Friday, July 17 at 7 pm at Hadley Field, which is the school’s football field.
“A virtual graduation was not a popular idea in our community, so we decided to have a ceremony outdoors in July. That was approved by the school board in early June,” says Mike Springer, principal of Monrovia High School.
The seating capacity of Hadley Field is 1,500. To be in compliance with social distancing guidelines from the Morgan County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health, Springer says a little more than 500 people will be in attendance.
There are 140 students in Monrovia’s senior class. They each get four tickets.
“Because we don’t have quite as many students, we were able to propose this to the health department and they were okay with it. Two (tickets) is tough for a lot of families,” says Springer.
Due to the pandemic, the seniors will have to wear a mask when they get their diploma and when social distancing is not possible. They are also recommending all guests wear a mask.
“For example, if for some reason we have a weather event and people have to move into an area where you might be standing less than six feet away from someone, then that’s why it’s important that everybody wear a mask or face covering,” says Springer.
The 140 chairs each student will be sitting in will be spread out across the field.
There is usually a performance by the show choir and the band, but that will not happen this year. There will, however, still be music.
“We’re lucky. Our band director has a son who is a senior and he’s our class president (Andrew Willett). We put him in charge of the public address system, so he’s got all the songs ready to go. All he’ll have to do is hit a button. We’re in good hands with him,” says Springer.
There will be speeches from the Valedictorian (Seth Wertz), Salutatorian (Sarah McKee), and Willett.
Friday night’s forecast in Monrovia calls for a mostly sunny sky with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.
Full Interview with Monrovia High School Principal Mike Springer