Heartland high schools prepare for more normal graduation ceremonies

Heartland high schools prepare for more normal graduation ceremonies

CAPE GIRARDEAU & SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The pandemic disrupted school events last year, including graduation.

Now, many districts feel more confident to make graduation ceremonies a little more normal.

Soon, 2021 Sikeston high school graduates will walk across the football field field to receive their diplomas, and this time around there’s no limit on how many family members can watch from the stands.

“I have a lot of family members in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area, so I’m really excited that I get to invite as many of them as I want to,” Senior, Ben Schrumpf said.

“Last year we did place a restriction on tickets and obviously it was a new situation so nobody kind of knew what was going to happen but based on that and based on some events we’ve hosted this year we felt like we could not place a restriction on tickets and allow more people to come,” Sikeston High School Principal, Doyle Noe said.

The ceremony is scheduled to happen at its normal time next month, but 2020 graduates had to wait a little longer.

“Like many other schools, once COVID kind of really took hold, we just wanted to wait and see. It was very important to try to offer as much as we can of an opportunity for graduation to our seniors, so we postponed graduation,” Noe said.

Same goes for Notre Dame High School in Cape Girardeau, except its 2020 ceremony happened in July.

“We did honor them there but ultimately we’re still sad because they didn’t get the experience that they should have gotten,” Assistant Principal, Paul Unterreiner said.

Unterreiner said this year, the ceremony is happening at the normal time and students can invite more family too.

“We’re going to have six tickets per family,” he said.

That’s two more than last year.

“We’re excited to have more people in there,” he said.

Both schools see this another way of getting back to normal.

Social distancing will still be enforced at both ceremonies.

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