Graduation came directly to the homes of three graduates of Anderson School this year.

Staff members drove to each home and teacher Uwe Hoffman whipped out a table. Then, he presented a personalized cake for each graduate, along with their diploma.

Just another unique graduation ceremony in the age of the coronavirus.

In Healy, seven graduates of Tri-Valley School (including one Denali PEAK graduate) stood outside the school as a stream of cars drove by to wish them well. The graduation ceremony itself, an invitation-only event to keep numbers small, also happened outside and was livestreamed for everyone else.

This year, the graduates of 2020 didn’t wait until graduation day to make a special gift to the community. Back in April, the class donated $1,000 to the local Neighbor-to-Neighbor fund, a program that helps residents in need. The funds were the balance of money raised during the class’s four years of high school. Graduates hoped it could be useful during the coronavirus pandemic.

In Cantwell, sole graduate Rodney Lee was joined by Bob Bondy, a Denali PEAK graduate who came in from the Denali Highway to participate in the ceremony. Afterwards, graduates drove down the Parks Highway, to be cheered by a long line of local residents parked on the shoulder.


Tri-Valley School

Rebecca Basile

Makenzie Mirasole

Lauren Pluard

Erin Przybylski

Abigail Smith

Mistelle Titus


Anderson School

James Ashley

Mariah Ryder

Josh Smith


Cantwell School

Rodney Lee


Denali PEAK 


Bob Bondy

James Brekke

Laird Dixon

Shannon Edwards

Justin Jenkins

Beth MacMaster

Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.