HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) — The coronavirus pandemic has us all rethinking how events can still happen, and one question that continues to pop up is how a graduation can still take place.
We’re getting a peek into this at Harrisburg High School, where there’s already a graduation of sorts happening. This week kids donned caps and gowns and walked across a stage at the school’s performing arts center. It was all videotaped with plans on showing the final piece one month from Friday- their original graduation day on May 17.
“Kids can be dressed in their cap and gown at home with their mom and dad, we’re going to videotape all the speeches, have the superintendent come in and give his speech, and we want to play this on YouTube, just like it was happening live,” Harrisburg High School Principal Ryan Rollinger said. “The only problem will be is the graduate will be sitting at their home with their parents.”
One of the students who walked this walk is senior Tucker Seamer. His dad is assistant principal Brad Seamer.
“I’m just happy that me and my class have the opportunity to have something that will be able to be remembered and shared with our friends and family,” Tucker Seamer said.
“This was the best, next best thing we could come up with that we could still honor our kids,” Brad Seamer said.
“I literally held my breath for the 10 seconds they were by me, to make sure that I didn’t breathe out,” Rollinger said. “And we did, we had them wash their hands right before they came in to the auditorium, they only touched one part of the diploma, they were all coming straight out of the package.”
There is still hope for Tucker and his classmates to have an in-person graduation with each other; the Sioux Falls Arena is rented in July for exactly that. But however commencement looks, there’s a pride in being part of this class that has seen unprecedented events.
“Extremely,” Tucker Seamer said. “We had a really good class this year, and I’m very proud of what me and my classmates have done with what we’ve been given.”
Right now, Tucker plans to study nursing at the University of South Dakota.