Fr. Tolton Catholic High School celebrates seniors with drive-through graduation
COLUMBIA -— Many high school graduation ceremonies were cancelled amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Fr. Tolton Catholic High School wanted to give its seniors a special celebration.
“I'm very blessed that they were able to do something,” senior Olivia Varnes said. “It might not have been the traditional graduation, but I'm thankful that they were able to do something to honor the class of 2020.”
The Catholic school had 67 graduating seniors, but didn’t allow more than 100 people in the building at once. The school also required each student to enter the building in five minute increments to abide by social distancing guidelines.
“I felt pretty safe about it because they've been all social distancing and taking the right precautions and everybody has been far enough away from each other today, so I felt great about it,” Varnes said.
Each student rotated through the building at different stations, taking pictures, filling out alumni information and talking to parents and staff. To make the celebration feel like a personalized commencement, students had their own escort who held their personal belongings while they walked across the stage and took photos.
Casey Hulshof graduated from Tolton in 2018 and said the school is like a family.
“Normally I could come to graduation and it wouldn't be a problem, but now it's a very limited thing so I feel very special to witness this graduation for this class,” Hulshof said.