By Megan Kelley
During the early summer months, Lake Orion Community Schools held out hope that at some point this summer they would be able to hold an in-person graduation ceremony for the 2020 graduating class.
While many things have been up in the air, LOCS was able to pull off a graduation ceremony unlike any other in years past.
“It certainly was not a traditional finish to our K-12 years, but it is something to celebrate,” Leadership President Kate Barker told her fellow classmates during her commencement speech last Thursday.
Like student’s across the nation, seniors at Lake Orion High School went home on what seemed to be a somewhat normal day in March only to soon find that that would be the last time they would enter and leave the school as students.
As months passed, it became exceedingly obvious that any kind of in-person graduation ceremony that had previously been scheduled would not be able to take place.
However, the district was able to plan a drive-in style in-person graduation ceremony at LOHS to send off their seniors in the most traditional way possible, given the circumstances.
Students heard from LOHS Interim Principal Dan Haas, Learning Options Principal Kristin Sliwinski, Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett, LOHS Principal Steve Hawley, LOCS retired Superintendent Marion Ginopolis and student speakers Adam Tisch and student Leadership President Kate Barker.
In year’s past, Ginopolis has addressed the graduating classes with a theme. This year, her final year as superintendent, Ginopolis spoke about the significance of the tassel.
“The tassel, and especially the movement of it from the right to the left once you receive your diploma, is extremely significant as it symbolizes your many accomplishments and your completion of high school,” Ginopolis said.
“When the tassel is on the right, it’s indicative of everything you have individually and collectively accomplished over the past 12 years and more notably, high school. All your hard work academically, the physical stamina displayed during athletic events, the countless awards, of recognitions you’ve received.
“When it’s on the right it represents the community service hour’s you’ve put in to help others, your unique Cell Out for Soldiers, the time spent with younger students,” Ginopolis said. “And for this class, like no other class before you, when you move that tassel to the left, it reflects your successful achievements and overcoming any obstacles or challenges that might have gotten in your way.”
Once each student had crossed the stage to receive their diploma, the unique ceremony ended with a fireworks show to match.