As an unusual school year for students across the country comes to an end, 15 seniors will become graduates of Gettysburg High School on Saturday during the annual commencement ceremony.
With the Covid-19 pandemic dictating a change in this year’s ceremony, the plan is for it to take place outside at Battler Field, beginning at 2 p.m. on May 23.
The commencement address will be given by GHS teacher Mr. Keith Scott. The class valedictorian, Hunter Eide, son of Gerri and Shon Eide, and class salutatorian, Beth Nagel, daughter of Jim and Rose Ann Nagel, will also address the crowd during graduation.
This year, the crowd will be significantly smaller than normal. Due to social distancing recommendations, only family and staff will be attending the ceremony in person. The event will be livestreamed at www.pottercountynews.com and also broadcast through the newspaper on the local Venture Communications cable access channel 387. For those in close proximity to the football field, the ceremony can also be heard on the radio at FM 90.7.
The plan is for the graduates to be socially distanced, keeping at least six feet between them according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. Small, immediate family units will be allowed on the field, with some family parking allowed on the west side. The graduation will also include a rose ceremony, and each of the students will walk across the stage to be handed their diploma.
Students will also wear commemorative masks, to help with the control of the virus spread, but also in part to remember the unusual circumstances that ended their class time together. Following the ceremony, since a reception line is not an option, the students will be escorted by law enforcement through town in a parade. The community is encouraged to decorate lawns and greet the graduates from their yards.
Depending on the weather, the time may change. If it looks like rain is coming on Saturday afternoon, check the school website at gettysburg.k12.sd.us for a change in schedule.
This edition of the News includes a special section dedicated to the GHS graduates from the Class of 2020.