News-Miner opinion: After a tumultuous and seemingly endless school year that presented challenge after challenge for students and faculty alike, there is a step toward normalcy for seniors graduating from the Fairbanks area’s four largest high schools.
The senior year of high school is tough enough, but Covid-19 made it even tougher for the class of 2021. Distance learning. Closed school buildings. Canceled sports events. Not much in the way of interaction with classmates. Nothing normal about any of that. The class is to be applauded for succeeding in incredibly trying circumstances.
Lathrop, Hutchison, North Pole and West Valley high schools plan live graduation ceremonies — with five to 10 guests allowed per student — on Lathrop’s football field, although the ceremonies also will be streamed on the internet. Last year’s ceremonies were pre-recorded.
The four schools are graduating 750 of the Fairbanks School District’s 840 graduating seniors.
Hutchison High School’s graduation ceremony is scheduled May 11, while Lathrop’s is slated May 12. North Pole High School’s commencement is scheduled for May 13, and West Valley High School’s on May 14. All four events are to start at 6 p.m.
Masks will be required, along with social distancing, and the ceremonies may look different, but news of the in-person ceremonies has been well-received, school officials say.
Hopefully, with vaccinations now easily and readily available, this month’s in-person graduations may just be the first step in a return to normalcy for the class of 2021. After this past year, the class has earned it.
Our congratulations and best wishes.