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Shawnee holds graduation ceremony, parade

Elisabeth Slay

Shawnee Public Schools celebrated the class of 2020 with a graduation parade and virtual ceremony Monday, May 18.

According to SPS Public Information Officer Cherity Pennington, SPS held its first online graduation ceremony where several seniors celebrated the end of their high school career.

During the ceremony, SPS Superintendent Dr. April Grace commended the seniors on the challenges they faced throughout their high school career.

Grace also introduced guest speaker and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister who addressed the class of 2020 and congratulated on not only graduating, but also for powering thorough the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to Grace and Hofmeister, several seniors also addressed their classmates and encouraged their peers to look toward the future despite the unknown.

The seniors' names were announced by Senior Class Counselor Dianne Dodd.

The graduation ceremony ended with short videos of seniors celebrating their final moments as high schoolers.

In addition to the virtual graduation, Pennington said here was a senior parade on Monday afternoon.

The parade started in the Dillard's parking lot and a police escort guided seniors from the Shawnee Mall, south on to Kickapoo to Kickapoo Spur, then to Pottenger before ending at Shawnee High School.

Many community members lined up along the parade route on Kickapoo and cheered on the seniors as they drove by in their cap and gowns and decorated cars.

Pennington explained the district has scheduled an in-person graduation ceremony on July 17 at 7 p.m. at Firelake Arena.