By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – The Shrewsbury High School (SHS) class of 2020 had been on pins and needles with anticipation to know what this year’s graduation would entail. The suspense was over when on May 20 official “Graduation Recognition” plans were released by Todd Bazydlo, school principal and Dr. Joseph Sawyer, superintendent of schools.
The nine events planned be an extraordinary send off for the class, which like seniors across the country, have become part of the story of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact.
Planning was going to be challenging but it was compounded because finding alternative ways to celebrate the achievements of over 500 students made it much more difficult.
Bazydlo and Dr. Sawyer provided a plan that honors individual students and the class as a whole, while working within public health guidelines in order to protect all involved.
“Although we are saddened by the havoc the COVID-19 virus has had on our community, we have worked with our students to develop a series of in-person and remote events that we feel will appropriately celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of the class of 2020,” Bazydlo said. “Our entire staff wishes we could celebrate with our students in-person, but we know that is not possible at this time, so we have also carved out future events with the hopes of making those a reality if and when regulations are eased.”
The events include:
- Performing Arts Awards Night: To be held Wednesday, May 20 and may be accessed on Shrewsbury Media Connection https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0ivqTB7rM4o71cdwi2qNFw;
- Scholarships & Awards Night: To be held, Thursday, May 21 and may be accessed on Shrewsbury Media Connection
- “Friday Night Flyover:” Friday, May 29; 5 – 7 p.m. – Look to the sky for an airplane pulling a sky banner congratulating SHS class of 2020;
- Commemoration: Tuesday, June 2 at 7 p.m. – To be broadcast on SELCO Channels 29 and 329 and streamed live on the Shrewsbury Media Connection website:
- “The Last Ride” Wednesday, June 3; 5-6 p.m. – Seniors and their families are invited to parade in their cars through the SHS campus. SHS staff will be there to applaud and say goodbye.
- Graduation Part I: Speeches and student recognition – Thursday, June 4 at 7 p.m. – broadcast on SELCO Channels 29 and 329 and streamed live on the Shrewsbury Media Connection
- In-person awarding of diplomas by family: Monday, June 8 through Friday, June 12 – Individual ceremonies outside SHS where graduates will have their diploma conferred by family members. (by appointment only);
- Graduation Part II “The Class of 2020 Rise up Celebration:” Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m. (rain/alternate Dates: Sunday, July 26, Saturday, Aug 1, Sunday, Aug 2,) – Outdoor graduation ceremony at SHS including graduates’ march, individual student recognition and turning of the tassels if public health requirements allow;
- Class of 2020 senior-faculty gathering: Friday, Nov. 27; 6 – 9 p.m. – Graduates return to campus to celebrate with SHS staff in lieu of the Senior-Faculty Dinner if public health requirements allow.
“The Class of 2020 has undoubtedly demonstrated they have met our school’s mission and will leave Shrewsbury High School better people,” Bazydlo said.
For more information, visit https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov.