Seven in-person graduation ceremonies planned for McNary Class of 2020

McNary High will be hosting in-person graduations on Friday, Aug. 7 (File).

McNary High will officially be holding seven abbreviated, in-person graduation ceremonies on Friday, Aug. 7 at the school’s football field.

There will be 90 minutes in-between each ceremony, with the first one taking place at 10 a.m. and the final ceremony beginning at 7 p.m.

Each ceremony will feature approximately 45 students, who can invite up to four guests.

McNary assistant principal Dan Borresen says that he is hopeful that the ceremonies will last less than 40 minutes, to leave adequate time for deep cleaning and for guests and graduates to exit and enter the field safely.

“Since we have never done this before, we don’t really know how long it’s going to take us. That’s why we wanted to give ourselves some extra time,” Borresen said. “We wanted to make things less stressful on our staff.”

Each seat will be disinfected, agitated and left for a minimum of 10 minutes before it can be reused. 

All McNary staff in attendance will be wearing masks. The school strongly encourages all students and guests to wear masks as well, and practice social distancing. 

“We’re doing everything we can to keep everyone safe,” Borresen said. 

Borresen also asks guests to not arrive for their intended ceremony until 15-20 minutes before the start time and to practice social distancing upon entrance to the field. 

McNary math teacher Bill Kirkwood will be the keynote speaker for each graduation ceremony.

After initially believing there wouldn’t be a student speaker, Borresen said that McNary student Joe Ramiro Alvarado will be speaking at the ceremonies. 

Borresen also said that there may be some parking available at the school, but that guests should plan on parking off-campus due to heavy on-campus construction— both entrances to the campus on (Lockhaven and Chemawa) will be available to use.

The school still has not locked down how people will enter the stadium. Borresen is hoping that people will have the ability to enter and exit out of the south side of the stadium by the ticket booth, but he wants to have a backup option available — which will likely have people enter the stadium on the south side and exit out the north gate near the end of the stands.

“We want to make sure we are entering safely and exiting safely before the next group comes in,” Borresen said. 

Borresen is still working out an exit strategy for students and guests who want to take photos after the ceremony. He encourages those that want to take extensive photos do so at Keizer Rapids Park. There will be several McNary staff members on hand for each ceremony. 

“We’re asking for a long day out of our staff, but they are really excited to celebrate and let our seniors know how much we care for them,” Borresen said.