SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 1,564 seniors graduated from Sioux Falls public high schools this year, and Sunday they were celebrated with a virtual commencement ceremony.
While New Technology, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Washington students weren’t able to walk across the stage today, they were all still honored.
“We have this date that graduation was set for. So when we had this date set, we realized some students are going to go on after this date. They’re going to go on to maybe the military or something. So in talking with students, and consulting with people, we wanted to make sure we provided at least one graduation event for everyone, and that’s what this virtual one represents,” Roosevelt Principal Tim Hazlett said.
Each ceremony may have been done virtually, but they tried to make every part of the commencement reflect a normal graduation as much as they could.
“I introduce Dr. Maher, he does a speech. Cynthia Mickelson will do her speech as a member of the school board, and we have some musical arrangements in there. The thing you could do with this a little differently is add some videos of some fun pictures towards the end,” Hazlett said.
Lincoln senior Hanna Beshai was one of several students to give speeches today during her graduation.
“It was funny because none of us really got the information until like a week before it was due. So we were all scrambling to get it written in a week and learned so, but we managed. It was really fun, and a great opportunity to have some last few words for our class,” Lincoln Graduate Hanna Beshai said.
Though she couldn’t help but imagine what walking across the stage with her classmates would have been like today, she still made the best of the situation.
“I took pictures at Lincoln today with my family. I’ve been finding ways to still celebrate even though it’s different,” Beshai said.
Though today’s celebration may have been different, these students’ achievements remain the same.
“That doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate and learn how to find joy, and closure in the same way,” Beshai said.
The district is still hoping to host an in-person graduation for the seniors in either June or July, but that hasn’t been officially set.