RAYMOND – The weather was hot, but spirits were high, as the 53rd commencement ceremony took place on the Raymond Central High School football field.
The class of 2020 held a virtual graduation earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions being lifted, the school board and administration came to a decision that this class needed to have a traditional ceremony as well. They decided students would get tickets in advance, and that family units would sit together. Also decided, was the taking of temperatures and a hand sanitizing station before any attendee was allowed in the gate.
Students graduating were required to practice social distancing on the field, chairs were placed six feet apart and they each picked up their own diplomas off of the table as they were recognized individually by Allison Stansberry, who is the current principal at Raymond Central. They did elbow bumps, and air high fives as they accepted their diplomas.
Students that graduated with distinction were Kylee Polivka, Clairissa Wilson and Isaac White. Graduating with high distinction was class president and Valedictorian Katelyn Komenda. Isaac White was the salutatorian.
Isaiah Enevoldsen and Isaac White received Academic All-Conference honors. National Honor Society members that were selected due to leadership, activities, character and a 90% GPA were Logan Black, Haley Hain, Katelyn Komenda, Polivka and Wilson.
FFA state degree holders included White and Blake Stanley. National Speech and Debate Association Silver and Burgundy Tassels were given to Enevoldsen, with Premier Distinction and Haley Hain with Superior Distinction. Also receiving an award with the National Art Honor Society as an inductee was Wilson.
Vice President Haley Hain gave the welcome for the ceremony. There was pomp and circumstance as well as the recessional. The only difference was the music was played over the loudspeakers, as having the band and choir in attendance would have created another challenge to social distancing.
Graduate Caleb Shultz was unable to attend the ceremony, so a cardboard cut out represented him. Shultz shipped out on July 16 with the Army National Guard. Once he finishes training he plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and major in engineering.
There were 34 graduates total. All three of the speeches, including the welcome, focused on the positives as well as the strengths that the Raymond Central class of 2020 has gone through this year.