CURWENSVILLE — Curwensville Area Jr./Sr. High School’s senior class is going to have as unique a sendoff as the school district can provide.
With Clearfield County’s transition Friday into the green phase of emerging from the state’s stay-at-home order to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the school district gained the freedom to revise its graduation celebration plans from a curbside ceremony in the elementary parking lot to an out-of-doors event at Coach Andy Evanko Stadium Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. followed by a parade of graduates.
High School Principal Bill Hayward said although the district held off as long as it to finalize plans, he still held out hopes the class of 2020 would get the in-person observance he said it deserves.
“We waited until the last minute to make an announcement because I was adamant that I wanted to have a face-to-face ceremony with the students,” Hayward said. “I kept hoping and praying things would loosen up and they did.”
He said said the ceremony will follow Center for Disease Control and state guidelines. Participants will observe social distancing and the event will have attendance of 250 people or less. Each graduate will be permitted to have three guests at the ceremony.
Superintendent Ron Matchock reported, “It has been the district’s intention to provide the best ceremony that we can for our students, based on the current guidelines in place on June 5. With the movement to green for our county and the relatively small graduating class of seniors, we are able to hold an outdoor ceremony while maintaining social distancing guidelines. The graduation ceremony at Curwensville is steeped in deep tradition and has been a long standing formal ceremony for our students. We are excited to be able to hold a ceremony that adheres as closely as we can to those traditions and with all of the students present.”
The district will live stream the ceremony through its Facebook page along. A virtual choralogue video will also be available there. A rain date has been set for Saturday, June 6 at 1 p.m.
Because the restrictions will not permit everyone who wants to to attend the graduation ceremony, there will be a parade of graduates from the stadium located on Stadium Drive to the parking lot of the Curwensville United Methodist Church at the intersection of State and Walnut streets, Curwensville. Hayward said he expects the parade to start immediately following the conclusion of the ceremony at approximately 7:15-7:30 p.m.
High school instrumental Instructor Robert Pennington was instrumental in coordinating the logistics of the parade with the assistance of Rescue Hose & Ladder Co. fire and ambulance service and the Curwensville Borough Police Department.
Pennington said the parade provides an opportunity for the community members, teachers, friends, family and other well-wishers to recognize the graduates and their achievements.
“Because of the safety restrictions, a lot of people who would like to are not able to attend graduation,” Pennington said. “Crowd sizes are restricted and the bulk of those numbers will be taken up by the graduates and their families. A lot of members of the community would like to see the graduates and we thought a parade would be the best way to be able to do that safely.”
Spectators are encouraged to wear black and gold spirit clothing and line up along State Street, practicing social distancing.
“Signs and balloons would also be great,” Pennington said.
Matchock also encouraged the community to support the class by attending the parade.
“The graduation parade will provide an opportunity for our community, staff, friends and family to join us in the celebration and honoring of our graduates,” he explained.
There will be no parking along State Street in Curwensville after 2 p.m. on Friday, June 5. Signs will be posted by the Curwensville Borough Police Department.