In this unique time, acts as simple as shaking hands and being handed a diploma can be risky. Undeterred, Minnetonka Schools has turned to innovation in order to celebrate the amazing achievement of our Class of 2020 graduates.
To ensure that students entering into military service were able to experience Graduation before they headed off to Basic Training, the high school allowed each of them a special opportunity to be recognized on June 9, 2020. Principal Erickson, Superintendent Peterson and the Minnetonka School Board congratulated each student individually and presented them with their diplomas. Photos were also taken.
In light of evolving COVID-19 guidelines, the rest of the Class of 2020 had three options for graduation; having diplomas mailed to them, participating in an individual session (like military students received) on July 20, 2020 or participating in one of several "mini-ceremonies" that allowed for a socially distanced graduation experience on July 28, 2020.
Mini ceremonies, which grouped students into socially distanced sections of 75, were held outside and included brief remarks from high school and District leadership, emcees and the student speaker. Musical performances were recorded and shared on a large screen.
Minnetonka will also be sharing a virtual graduation ceremony on YouTube and Facebook, compiled from all of these events within the next few weeks, to enable our students to watch their friends graduate and so that family members unable to attend a ceremony due to social distancing guidelines can celebrate the students' important milestone.
"Congratulations on your completion of your senior year!" remarked Principal Erickson in a letter to students earlier this year. "Your class has demonstrated tremendous resilience, compassion, kindness and humor. I challenged seniors in March, when we began e-learning, to know that their work wasn't done and that their legacy was still being written. You met that challenge and will leave MHS having made it a better place and a stronger community."
Despite the lack of snow, Tonka Nordic Racing (TNR) is taking on summer in full flight. Holding captain's practices from June to August, TNR is staying in shape and working on techniques during the off-season, all while staying socially distant and safe.