Graduations for the class of 2020 across the country have had significant changes due to COVID-19. Here in Kingsbury County, things are no different.
The De Smet School District graduation ceremony at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 maintained a traditional format; however, modifications were still required. Audience members were limited to immediate family, and the ceremony was closed to the public. Graduates and the audience were socially distanced, hand sanitizer was used at the entrance, diplomas were presented without a handshake and masks were recommended. Grandparents, family members with compromised health and others not in attendance were encouraged to view the ceremony online.
The class colors were black and white while the class flower was a white rose dipped in gold glitter. Michelle Wiese gave the salutatory address, which included fond memories of their high school years. Autumn Wilkinson, valedictorian, delivered a speech that recognized the impact 9/11 and COVID-19 had on the class. The passing of the spade included Senior Class President Abigail Flood presenting the spade to Junior Class President Aria Gruenhagen. As graduates accepted their diplomas, individual scholarships and awards were also announced.
Following the ceremony, the graduates appeared along Calumet Avenue for a drive-through reception, though still socially distancing from each other. Community members were able to drop off cards or gifts during this time.