CLINTON — One by one Clinton High School graduates checked in at the parking lot behind the school, entered Yourd gym, received a diploma and exited back at the rear parking lot.
The scheduled, single-student format didn’t stop the former high school seniors from meeting friends and taking photos together.
Hunter Hugunin and his girlfriend Kelly Clark scheduled their graduations one after another so they’d be at the school at the same time for family photos.
Hugunin’s parents, brother and grandmother watched his graduation. “It was a little awkward,” Hugunin said. “It was different, but the school tried to make it the best they could.”
The graduation wasn’t what Clark had expected when she began her senior year last fall, she said. “I’m glad they did something.”
Clark was accompanied by her parents and their spouses.
Natalie Dornbush and Kaylee Camp scheduled their graduations one after another so they could take photos together after accepting their diplomas. “I thought it was really nice [of the school] to put on this graduation for us,” Camp said.
Though she won’t see all her classmates in one setting, “You can see the couple of people before and after,” Camp said. “It’s better than nothing.”
“It actually went very well,” said Dornbush as she exited the gym with her parents and sister. “It went very fast.
Camp and Dornbush’s families took photos with their former seniors before Camp told Dornbush, “We did it!” and shared a hug with her friend.
Ethan Nielsen donned his cap and gown in the parking lot by the football field with a little help from his mother, Shannon, before proceeding to the graduation stage. Afterward, the family took photos by the van.
As one family left, another pulled into the parking lot. Many graduation traditions were set aside, but caps and gowns, photos and hugs remained.