Milan High School graduates Class of 2020 in nonconventional manner
MELINDA STARKEY PHOTO
The Class of 2020 graduated on Saturday, May 30 with the presentation of diplomas outside of the Milan High School (MHS) gymnasium, followed by a caravan to honor these students. Prior to the formal awarding of the diplomas, each graduate was assigned parking spots in the high school parking lot to proceed in alphabetical order. As Superintendent Jane Rogers called their names, they drove by the gym, stepped out of their vehicle to receive their diploma from Principal Ryan Langferman, then continued with a caravan through Main Street, led by the Milan Fire Department.
Many students, along with friends and family members, decorated their vehicles with balloons, streamers, and signs. Each student took their own approach as they traveled down Main Street. Some sat on top of their vehicles or rode in convertibles, others stood out of sunroofs, while some were more reserved and sat in their vehicle and waved. All seemed to have a good time and were very respectful. Rogers agreed, stating it was a true representation of the goodness of the students and families of this class. She said the school has received many compliments about the day, including the fact that this allowed the families to get involved with their graduate.
On a prior date, a virtual graduation was prepared for the Milan Class of 2020. This includes a more traditional outtake on the ceremony, including speeches from Co-Valedictorians Benjamin Hartwell and Matthew Riehle and Salutatorian Lucy Ortt. The video will also include addresses given by Langferman and Rogers, as well as the playing of Pomp and Circumstance. This video will be available on the school website (www.milan.k12.in.us) on June 5, with a link being sent to each graduate of the Class of 2020. This will be a keepsake for this class that prior graduating classes did not have.
The class of 2020 had a total of 94 graduates, with a graduation rate of 96%. Additional statistics include 84.6% showing college and career readiness skills based on new Department of Education guidelines, 63% of the senior class earned college credit or attended Southeastern Career Center, 62% plan to further their education in some type of post-secondary school, and 37% received Honors or Tech Honors Diploma. This class is evenly divided in post-high school plans, with 1/3 planning to attend a 4-year school, 1/3 planning to attend a technical or trade school, and 1/3 entering the workforce.
Although this year’s graduates did not sit in the gym, anxiously awaiting their name to be called with the band and choir performing around them, they did get a graduation like no others before. As one of the student’s signs put it, the world stood still for them. And who knows, maybe a new tradition was born.