The Benton-Carroll-Salem School District has developed a special commencement ceremony to bring its Oak Harbor High School Class of 2020 together for a unique Outdoor Commencement Ceremony & Car Procession on Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m. at the high school.
The event follows guidelines established by Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ottawa County Health Department to assure the safety of our students and families. School officials say they respect the decision of parents and guardians who do not feel it will be safe for their graduate to attend.
The event will be held in the East Parking Lot (Student Parking Lot) of the high school. Vehicles may begin to enter campus for parking at 1 p.m. Drivers will be required to follow the directions of staff and Oak Harbor Police Department.
Only one vehicle per graduate will be allowed on campus. Only cars, mid-size trucks and vans (no RV or large commercial trucks) are allowed to ensure proper viewing.
Vehicles carrying graduates must be in line or on campus by 1:45 p.m. Custodial parents and guardians will decide who will be permitted in the vehicles. Graduates and guests must remain in their vehicles at all times.
The ceremony will be transmitted to vehicles via FM radio. Live streaming of the ceremony will be available for family and loved ones that are unable to attend and viewed on smart phones during ceremony.
The ceremony will feature a welcome address; senior speaker; recognition of senior accomplishments; Board of Education address; Senior Graduates names read; class picture; and closing remarks.
A Car Procession will be led by Oak Harbor Police and Emergency Personnel to allow each graduate to be presented with diploma sleeve. Graduates and board members must wear masks and gloves during this process. A professional photographer will be on hand to capture graduation images.
Graduates may choose to exit the ceremony or line up for parade. Parade participants should put on headlights. Family and friends unable to attend the ceremony may line up in their cars on the parade route, which will be live-streamed, to celebrate.
“It is frustrating we are not able to provide the traditional commencement ceremony to this group of seniors. The plans represent our very best attempt to honor the remarkable achievements of our graduates,” said Supt. Guy Parmigian.
“We have explored all possibilities with regard to this year’s commencement, have spoken with students, parents, and others, and health officials and the Ottawa County Health Department (OCHD). It is important that everyone knows that we are limited on what we can do by health department restrictions, and to keep everyone involved in the process safe,” Supt. Parmigian said. “We are committed to making Commencement 2020 memorable, unique and respectful of the tradition of this milestone event.”