YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Yorktown Central School District has laid out plans to honor its class of 2020 with a whole month of events for the graduating seniors.
“I think we have one of the most comprehensive and special programs to honor the class of 2020,” Superintendent Dr. Ron Hattar said. “They're a great group and they deserve to be honored appropriately and this plan does that. “We’re making this a month-long celebration of the class of 2020.”
From Monday, June 1 to Friday, June 26, the district will display the names of the graduating seniors on the digital sign in front of Yorktown High School.
“We’re encouraging the kids, obviously in a socially distancing and safe way, to come by with their families,” Hattar said. “That’s another piece. All aspects of our senior ceremonies are family events.”
On Tuesday, June 2, there will be a digital Senior Awards night, followed by a digital Scholars Night on Tuesday, June 9.
On Friday, June 12, seniors will celebrate Senior Day where they will be able to visit the school, while maintaining proper social distancing procedures, and pick up brunch, their cap and gowns, as well as picking up their yearbooks.
After visiting the school, students will then return home where they will watch a virtual speaker online for Senior Day.
The graduation ceremony is split into two ceremonies which Hattar called “Graduation for One, Graduation for All.”
On Monday, June 15, students will arrive at the campus to take part in the first graduation ceremony, Graduation for One.
“Graduation for One is where students will be assigned a time, they will come to campus in their caps and gowns, each student individually will process in, have their name called, they will walk across the stage to graduate and their family will hand them their diploma,” Hattar explained. “It’s such a special thing to be able to hand your child their high school diploma.”
A photographer and videographer will be present and families and graduates will receive digital copies of the photos for free.
On Monday, June 22, seniors will participate in senior locker cleanout and a memory lane walk.
“Our seniors didn’t get the opportunity to do so many important things, so we’re going to give our seniors the opportunity to do that the week of June 22,” Hattar said. He mentioned cleaning out lockers and walking through the hallways one last time as an important milestone.
“We’re going to have a giant mural there with paint and they’re going to paint their handprint into the giant mural so that the class of 2020 will forever leave their mark on Yorktown High School,” Hattar said.
Then on Saturday, June 27, the Graduation for All ceremony will take place on the Yorktown High School campus.
“It’s going to be a graduation ceremony at the Yorktown High School. We have secured a dynamite keynote speaker,” Hattar confirmed. “Our district, historically, has not had a keynote speaker. We thought the class of 2020 deserved a keynote address. So we have secured Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, co-founder, President, and Chief Science Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.”
He said they are in the process of working on and securing a speaker for the farewell address.
The district is also working with the Yorktown Police Department on organizing a senior car parade through the town and Hattar added that there will be more surprises for the graduating class along the way.
So far, the team in charge of graduation plans have invested almost 200 hours planning for these end of the year events.
“Graduation is a very emotional thing and it means so much,” Hattar said. “We invested so much time in the planning of this ceremony and our students deserve that. They deserve nothing less than us investing that kind of time and I think our plan shows.”