The NPSS Class of 2020 graduation ceremony won't be normal, though it will certainly be memorable.
The school began filming its virtual graduation ceremony Tuesday, June 9, and will continue through Thursday, June 11. One by one, students arrived in the gym, donned in their cap and gowns, and walked across the stage to pick up their diploma and pose for pictures in front of family and friends.
After, students and their families had the opportunity to take professional photos, dance together, and have some photobooth fun before going on their way. It's a far cry from the usual ceremony at the North Peace Arena in front of hundreds, but it's something the students won't forget.
"It was a little underwhelming when I first heard of the plan, but I'm glad the school was able to give us something we'll remember," said graduating student Alyssa Orser. "It's been really well done, and we had more of a one-on-one experience, which was nice. That really stood out to me."
Principal Randy Pauls was pleased with how the first film shoot went, and found there were some benefits to having the ceremony this way.
"This is going really well, and the pictures the families are getting are better than they would normally get, as there is better lighting and families are able to get closer," Pauls said.
"Plus, the students actually get to march across the stage on their own this time, instead of stopping by one of four stations at the same time as other students."
Families were able to stand about 12 feet away from the stage, and take a picture of the graduate.
"I was very surprised, I didn't know how they were going to be able to do this, but it went better than expected," said graduate Martins Enyiche. "It looks beautiful actually."
The ceremony, along with pre-recorded speeches and musical numbers will be livestreamed on graduation day on Friday, June 19.
Following that, the Grand March Parade will begin at 1:30 p.m.
The graduating class will be lined up along 93 Avenue and 86 Street for the parade.
Family and friends will be able to drive the parade route and wave and take pictures.
The parade will be live-streamed as well for those unable to attend.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.