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Geneva D-304 plans drive-thru graduation; parents set Graduate Walk on 3rd St.

School, parents celebrate graduates during virus, social distancing

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GENEVA – The Geneva High School Class of 2020 will have a drive-thru/curbside/virtual graduation from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 7 at the high school, with an all-day Graduate Walk on the sidewalks on Third Street from James Street to Crescent Place.

School officials and parents went the extra mile to make graduation as special as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

Graduates are to arrive at the high school according to their last name beginning at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., according to the posted instructions. Graduates will get their diplomas at the entrance to the high school and have a professional photograph taken.

Graduates should still be dressed in their caps and gowns after picking up their diplomas, so when they walk down the sidewalks on both sides of Third Street, everyone will be able to see them – and honk, wave, cheer or clap for them.

“Our goal was … to be inclusive of the whole Class of 2020,” said Terri McCormick, one of the parent organizers. Her graduate is daughter Mary Cate McCormick.

“They can’t be with their peers on graduation day. They can walk past them, observing social distancing,” McCormick said. “We’re encouraging everyone to wear masks.”

Graduates will have 24-by-36 portrait photos posted on signs on the parkway on both sides of Third Street, McCormick said.

“It’s a keepsake portrait,” McCormick said. “Picture signs honoring our 488 graduates will line Third Street and be up all day. They will be taken down by 8 p.m. We’re asking that the signs be picked up the following day at Geneva High School.”

McCormick said she worked with a group of parents of graduates – Lars Thomas, Chad Marquardt, Kathy Green and Kris Keller – to fundraise and organize to create a special recognition walk on Third Street for all 488 graduates.

The parents fundraised to pay for the signs, raising more than $6,000 through social media, McCormick said, recognizing that many jobs were lost and contributing could be a hardship.

Parents are encouraged to park in the courthouse lot or on side streets so the portrait photos of graduates can be seen by those who are driving by.

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