Approximately 250 graduating seniors at SPHS experienced a right-of-passage of a different sort last week as cap and gown pick-ups commenced.
A continuous line of cars paraded through the high school’s parking lot as students and their families received mementos signifying the end of their time at SPHS.
Serving almost as a prototype for June 3rd’s drive-thru graduation, the format and general flow of the anything-but-archetypal assembly line gave students and faculty a chance to acclimate to the new system.
“For what it was, it worked out well, ” says James Jontz, Head of CTE, Stage Production, and ASB Finance. Elaborating on how effective the method worked he adds that Jostens, the company that handles many graduating services nationally, had already gone through similar motions for other schools, effectively making it easier for SPHS and “not having to reinvent the wheel.”
Seniors drove — and occasionally walked — up to each respective pick-up station while holding signs with their names as they took a brief ceremonial tour.
Three tents were stationed in serpentine fashion throughout the lot, the first being Mr. Mike Hogan with text book drop offs. Turning the corner, students were greeted by heads of Administration; Principal Janet Anderson, Assistant Principals Janet Wichman and David Speck, and Mr. Jontz.
A care package including commemorative 2020 graduating class mugs and t-shirts were personally delivered to the passenger by Jontz, who without fail ( along with Principal Anderson ) recognized each student pulling up, even with half of their face obscured by a mask.
Through the day spikes and lulls in traffic gave officials moments of excitement and respite respectively.
Finally the pies de resistance of any exiting veteran of the educational system, caps and gowns were distributed by Jostens on the home stretch.
According to Jontz, about 50 seniors did not make last week’s pickup date and still have another opportunity to swing by the school on June 2, the same day that the administration will be wrapping up with the rest of the school’s over 1100 students, which includes book drop-offs and award pickups.
EDIT: Yearbooks will NOT be available until sometime after graduation.
As Seniors prepare for their final days as an SPHS student, the signs of support lining the walls and gates of the campus they had become so familiar with served as reminders that they will forever be known as Tigers.