By Randy Fogg
MOUNDRIDGE—On the day that had been set aside for their graduation ceremony, Moundridge High School’s Class of 2020 paraded through town the evening of Saturday, May 16.
MHS Principal Hilarie Hecox said she had a Zoom meeting with the senior class, and she proposed the parade. It was scheduled for the same day the school’s commencement exercises had originally been planned.
“It was something special for the seniors to remember and cherish,” Hecox said. “We wanted to create a memory, and I think we did.”
Moundridge has 22 graduating seniors this year. A total of 21 participated in the parade. Paul Theis, a foreign exchange student, has already returned to his native Germany.
The event started with a social distancing picnic. The seniors were served a prepackaged meal that they ate while parked in a vehicle in the lot between Wheatridge Park and the tennis courts.
After the meal, the students and their families were encouraged to decorate the vehicle they were going to use in the parade.
Signs, balloons and streamers were placed on many of the vehicles. Kyler Dalke decorated his vehicle with a Hawaiian theme. Other seniors rode in classic vehicles, the back of pickup trucks, and one sat in a patio chair while riding on a trailer.
Hecox said she had a requirement for each senior: they needed someone to drive them.
“I wished for the seniors to enjoy the moment,” Hecox said.
Most seniors had a parent or sibling drive them. One student asked a teacher to drive the vehicle.
“The kids’ safety was our foremost priority,” Hecox added.
She noted the senior parade used a route similar to the one the teachers used during their parade in late March. However, Hecox said she made a few changes. She had the parade go past the homes of any senior who lived within the city limits.
“The seniors had a good time,” Hecox said. “The parents said it was well attended. The weather held off. The parents got to participate in the kids’ activity.”
Hecox said the district was still planning to have a graduation ceremony for this class. District officials were waiting to set a date to follow what is allowed in Gov. Laura Kelly’s reopening plan.
“Our intent is to have as close to a normal graduation as possible,” Hecox said.
Hecox noted parents seemed to like the parade so much that they were encouraging her to make it a new tradition for future graduating classes to follow.