▶️ Schools begin production of virtual graduations

By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Bend-La Pine’s graduation will be virtual this year, but school staff says they’re doing everything they can to maintain many of the elements of a traditional ceremony.

“We know that seniors are missing out on that experience that they’d typically have at the fairgrounds, so we’re trying to recreate that to some extent,” Mountain View High School principal Michael Hicks said.

Like all Bend-La Pine schools, Mountain View High School, is making adjustments to this year’s graduation.

Instead of all the pomp and circumstance at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds, it’s through a computer screen.

“This is a totally new thing, no one has any idea how this is going to work or how well it’s going to work,” Mountain View senior Joel Hoffman said.

“I mean, it’s kind of all we can get, I guess, so we kind of have to work with what we got,” fellow Mountain View senior Shelbi Andre said.

Seniors performing for the virtual graduation ceremony donned caps and gowns for filming Thursday.

Students will be able to put on their cap and gown, walk across their high school stage and receive their diploma while up to six members of their families look on from the audience.

La Pine Senior Zach Meeuwsen receives his diploma during his private stage walk Monday.

Once each senior receives their diploma and photos are taken, they will exit with their family, prior to the arrival of the next senior.

The private ceremonies are in addition to the previously announced televised, virtual graduation ceremonies, and the seniors still have the opportunity to walk with the Class of 2021 if they choose.

“It’s definitely exciting,” said Joel. “But at the same time, it doesn’t feel quite the same.”

“It feels weird, sort of, because I thought it would be at a different location like the fairgrounds,” said Shelbi. “But it’s at least good to be here.”

Hicks says despite how graduation takes place this year, they hope to keep the spirit of the ceremony the same.

“I hope they feel appreciated, I hope they see their picture on screen and know that we want to honor and recognize them,” said Hicks. :I think our seniors are going to be pleasantly surprised with the virtual ceremony we’re putting together for them.”

All high school’s graduation ceremony will be filmed and streamed live locally on COTV channel 11 (611 HD) on the original graduation date:

  • Bend Senior High School – June 6 at 3 p.m.
  • Bend Tech Academy at Marshall High School – June 8 at 7 p.m.
  • La Pine High School – June 5 at 7 p.m.
  • Mountain View High School – June 6 at 10 a.m.
  • Summit High School – June 4 at 7 p.m.

 

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