Holly, MI — June 17, 2020
One of the aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the number of cancelations that occurred as a result of the social distancing lockdown. A group caught up in the crisis that faced so much disappointment was the graduation class of 2020. After 12 long years of school, it is a special accomplishment for high school seniors to walk in cap and gown across a stage and receive that hard-earned diploma.
It is a once in a lifetime accomplishment and something that does not lend itself to postponement or rescheduling. A group of local residents made every effort to organize a celebration befitting the significance of the occasion.
The entire Holly community packed downtown streets Saturday to honor the Broncho Class of 2020 with a graduation parade, culminating with 253 graduating seniors receiving their diplomas in drive-through fashion. The parade was a combined effort by students, faculty, and community members to honor the Holly High School Class of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Seeing our graduation event come to life was very rewarding, and participating in the parade was an awesome experience,” said Zach Hill, a 2020 HHS graduate who will attend Oakland University in the fall to study engineering. “It was a celebration for every student, rather than a quick moment of recognition we would have had at a normal commencement ceremony. I felt like the entire community was supporting us as we rode along the parade route, which made it a unique experience for my entire class.”
The Holly community, as well as teachers and staff, lined the streets to cheer 266 vehicles, as well as fire trucks and police cruisers, as they made their way along Sherman, Broad, and Maple streets. The Holly police and fire departments escorted the parade as part of continued collaboration between Holly Area Schools and local front-line first responders during the public health crisis.
“I congratulate the Broncho Class of 2020 as they plan the next phases of their lives, and for helping plan this first-of-its-kind, communitywide graduation celebration,” said Scott Roper, Holly Area Schools superintendent. “Our graduation parade defined what Broncho Pride is all about, and came to fruition because our students applied the outside-the-classroom skills they learned as part of a 21st-century education here at Holly Area Schools.”
Holly High School staff, administrators, and HAS board members distributed diplomas through the drive-through line in front of the high school.
“The Class of 2020 has done a tremendous job under unprecedented circumstances,” said Holly High School Principal Peter LoFiego. “I have no doubt each graduate will be successful, whether they plan to attend college, technical school or immediately launch their professional careers. The Class of 2020 will serve as role models for generations of Bronchos for their leadership and willingness to plan a successful graduation event during such a difficult time in our community, state, and nation.”
Well done Holly, we celebrate with you.