New Bloomfield hosting in person graduation ceremonies

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NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield School District will host three in person graduation ceremonies on May 15.

The administration said it was the best way to give seniors as close to a normal ceremony as possible, and graduating seniors are thankful the school came up with an alternative way to cross the stage, even if it wasn't exactly how they thought they would end their final year. 

Senior Ella Stevens said getting to walk across the stage would help her get a needed sense of closure.

"I get to physically take those steps into the next chapter," she said. "I'm grateful that we get to finish out the year the right way."

Superintendent Sarah Wisdom said in an email that the administration has worked closely with the county health department to find a way to honor the class of 55 students. She said it was important to give them a proper send off that didn't stray too far from what traditional ceremonies have looked like in the past.

Ceremonies will still be held in the school gym, but to keep graduates, families and staff safe, Wisdom said they will be staggered to allow for at least an hour of sanitation of bleachers, doors and bathrooms.

Each ceremony will be divided into "squads" of 17 to 18 students, senior Noah Garwood said. Each senior will also be able to bring up to 10 guests. Garwood said his family had difficulty deciding who would be able to attend.

"Some family won't be able to come, but we're planning on hosting a celebration afterwards that everyone will be invited to," he said.

According to the Fulton Sun, graduations will also be live streamed on Facebook for those who cannot attend.

Garwood and fellow senior classmate Robert Bradley said they were disappointed when they found out they weren't going to be able to see all their friends walk across the stage.

"With a smaller class, everybody knows everybody," Bradley said. "When you've had the same team for 13 years, you just want to see everyone through."

Bradley, Stevens and Garwood are "13th year seniors," meaning they have been in New Bloomfield schools since kindergarten, which is the case for many students in the class of 2020. They said this has made the thought of leaving each other even more difficult.

"I am happy to cross the stage, but this was supposed to be our last time to go out as one whole class," Garwood said. "I'm going to miss these guys." 

Leading up to May 15, New Bloomfield is honoring each senior on its Facebook page.