Although we have seen many problems due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the issues that have come up this spring is in figuring out how to maintain social distancing while at graduation. Many schools have even canceled graduation ceremonies as a result.
Of course, there have been many interesting methods that have helped students to graduate with honor while at the same time, maintaining the current status quo. Plenty of virtual parties have been held with celebrities showing up and providing commencement addresses for 2020 graduates. Drive-by celebrations are also the norm.
It seems as if one high school in New Hampshire has discovered a very unique way to continue with the program.
The graduation at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire is going to be held at the most beautiful venue. They will be holding it on top of a mountain, and on June 13, each of the students will be riding the chairlift to receive their diploma. The chairlift will take them up 2,000-foot Cranmore Mountain to the summit, where the diploma will be handed to them. They will then get back on the lift and take the ride to the bottom of the mountain, happy with the fact that they are now a high school graduate.
Kevin Carpenter is the high school principal who said it was just a joke when they first thought about using a ski lift for the graduation ceremony. When Ben Wilcox, the general manager of the Cranmore Mountain Resort heard about it, he was intrigued. As a Kennett High School alum, he thought that it was at least worth a discussion.
Carpenter talked to the Union Leader, a local newspaper, saying: “Ben said ‘Let me ask the owners’ and they green-lit it.”
Typically, the high school’s football field is used for the graduation ceremony. Since the coronavirus pandemic has us social distancing, packing that many people into a football stadium is not going to be possible. The 172 members of the class of 2020 will take the ride to the summit of the mountain to collect their diploma. Students can also get their diploma at the base if they desire. The ride up the mountain, receiving their diploma, taking photos, and the ride back down will last about 30 minutes. It’s the best idea for a graduation replacement that we have heard all year.
According to Carpenter, students are coming up with the soundtrack that will make the event even better. A car parade is also being considered as a post-graduation ceremony through the streets of Conway. It will allow the entire town to get in on the act.
“Everybody’s ecstatic about this,” he said.
“How cool is it to live in a ski town and graduate at the top of a mountain, by chairlift?” added Becca Deschenes, Cranmore’s director of marketing. “It will be a memorable day for sure.”
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