It may have had slightly less pomp and much more circumstance than other years, but Frankfort High School was able to celebrate its Class of 2020 with a graduation ceremony Saturday inside Case Arena.
“We were pleased with, first of all, the turnout,” said Don DeWeese, superintendent of the Community Schools of Frankfort. “We had 120 graduates out of 220 that came to this. Ahead of time, we were concerned about the turnout. But, those 120 graduates were very proud as they received their diplomas, and we did our best to make it as usual as we could. Our kids and parents really responded well. The smiles of pride were still on our students faces, and it still made it one of the best days of the year. As educators, we love graduation. It is just awesome.”
During his speech, Assistant Superintendent Joel McKinney said that Frankfort High School’s Class of 2020 should be remembered for its determination, creativity, compassion, talents, patience and perseverance.
“Your last day of school in person was 149 days ago,” McKinney said. “You have waited a long time for this day to come as evidenced by some missing faces of some good friends. Not everybody was able to come back and be here to celebrate with us today. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and we wish them the very best also.”
Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the FHS graduation ceremony had to make adjustments similar to those made by the other three public high schools in the county in earlier ceremonies this summer.
“To keep the numbers within a reasonable crowd, we didn’t have our band and orchestra playing live music,” DeWeese said. “So, music was (played) electronically through the speakers. We usually have our choir sing, but there was no choir.
“Typically, a graduate can have an unlimited amount of family, friends and relatives attend, but each (graduate) was given just four tickets so we could manage the size of the crowd, so we would not go far above the safety threshold,” he added.
Speeches were given by Class of 2020 Vice President Riley Grasham, Class President Kristell Bartolo Gomez, Valedictorian Karleigh Bessler, Salutatorian Daniel Ehrmann.
FHS Communications Director Richard Sallee captured the entire ceremony and what he produced was shared both on the school’s website and on Kaspar Media’s Hoosierland TV.
“Richard Sallee and Russ Kaspar worked something out to where we sent them the feed and Hoosierland TV did the broadcast,” DeWeese said. “I heard from several people in the community that watched the stream and they said it looked very ‘pomp and circumstantial.’”