As you likely know, almost all high school and college graduations have now been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus. However, Kennett High School decided to proceed, albeit in a very unconventional manner: seniors will ride up on a ski lift for their graduation!
A Lift Up To Graduation
While graduations are wonderful moments in one’s life, they are often crowded, standing room only events. As a result, they are simply not possible during the coronavirus pandemic. So how did Kennett High School manage to pull it off during COVID-19? Well, they simply sent their students up a mountain! It all started after the school closed on April 16, and they canceled the graduation. That’s when Rich Stimpson, the father of senior girl Sophie, came up with the idea of sending the kids to collect their diplomas via ski-lift. Everything fit: everyone would remain socially distant, it would be easy to schedule, and could provide some much-needed income to a local resort! Once Rich told his wife and other parents about the idea, it spread like wildfire.
“We feel badly about the way the seniors haven’t been able to participate in the typical, traditional year,” superintendent Kevin Richard said. “People started talking about doing these remote, virtual graduations, and we were beginning to explore, ‘What can we do with our seniors?’ We live in a ski community, it’s a big part of the heritage here. It’s a true celebration of the community.”
Now, the high school has managed to create exciting memories for many families amid the pandemic..,
As of this writing, 174 graduates and their families have graduated atop Cranmore Mountain Resort “We’ve had overwhelmingly positive responses,” Carpenter remarked. “The kids are psyched about it. They’re thankful that they’re getting a graduation, and that it’s going to be a live, in-person one. We just tried to be as outside the box as we can with this, and it’s been great.”
As you might expect, many parents and teachers pitched in to help. Meanwhile, in the end, the resort didn’t even charge them for the use of their facilities and lift. However, one thing did stick out: the graduation took a whopping seven hours! Still, each graduate loved riding up the lift with their selected family or friends. At the top, they would safely take their diploma, take a picture, and ride back down. For the few students who felt frightened of heights, teachers delivered a few degrees at the bottom.
“Enough has happened for these poor kids, for the Class of 2020,” Carpenter said. “They’re supposed to be celebrating all these achievements and rites of passages. All these things are happening, and if we could just do something that at least was a little bit special, we wanted to.”