CIRCLEVILLE — Logan Elm High School’s 2020 class has graduated and has been handed their diplomas in a modified ceremony in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students received their diplomas Sunday from Principal Nate Smith with no crowd other than a few family members present. Students had their picture taken, including one with family in front of signs of their fellow 2020 graduates.
Smith said he thought most of the students and their families felt like they had their moments.
“We wanted the kids to have their moment and we wanted it to be a special moment,” Smith mentioned. “We didn’t feel that a 100 percent virtual graduation would give the kids that moment. They needed to be handed their diploma. We talked with the other school districts and we’re all pretty similar in what we’re doing. The health department was understanding that the kids needed this moment, but we also had guidelines to follow.”
Smith added that the district made the decision to purchase yard signs of each student several weeks ago and displayed them outside the school during the time the students picked up their caps and gowns. The students were originally going to be put on the football field before graduation was brought inside to the gym.
“We changed it to put them in the chairs inside the gym and I think it provided a neat atmosphere,” he added. “We modeled it so that the students could see the faces of their fellow graduates out there.”
Smith said the 2020 class graduation will be one he’ll always remember due to the special moments he got with each student.
“On a traditional mass graduation, you shake their hand and the next kid comes,” he said. “We got to stand there with them and be with their families as they took pictures and celebrated. It was very intimate to be with each family as they graduated. I thought it was a nice day that we as a staff got to see.”
Smith said he thought the challenges the Class of 2020 faced will prepare them for whatever is next in their lives.
“A couple of our graduation speeches hit on that,” Smith commented. “We talk with the kids and teach them there will be bumps in life and you learn from them and move on. This is another lesson they’ll take with them. This class will always be remembered. They’re definitely a unique group of kids.”
Superintendent Tim Williams congratulated the Class of 2020.
“I would like to congratulate the Class of 2020 for their accomplishments,” he said. “They will always be remembered as a class that was compassionate, understanding and willing to make sacrifices for the better good. As their tenure concludes as a Logan Elm student, they are poised and prepared for future challenges and rewards.”