A ceremony to remember

by Josh McDonald
Staff Reporter | May 22, 2020 10:46 AM

It’s graduation week on the east end of Shoshone County as Wallace and Mullan high schools prepare for their seniors departure.

The 2020 school year will not be one that’s ever forgotten, as both students and teachers had to adapt to new ways of learning and educating, which is why graduation 2020 is such a big deal.

Being the first graduating class in more than a century to have to face down a pandemic and likely the first one to continue their education remotely during said crisis.

While many schools across the country have had their ceremonies canceled altogether, in Idaho rules were set that would allow schools to hold their commencement ceremonies if a very strict criteria was met.

Schools were required to submit plans to their local health officials that had to meet specific health criteria and then had to be approved by that school district’s board of trustees.

Then, once the plan was approved, the schools had to organize these ceremonies on exceptionally short notice.

Despite all of the obstacles, for the administrators working behind the scenes, all of the hard work has been worth it.

“This is a milestone in everyone’s life and it is the culmination of 12 years of hard work and dedication,” said WHS principal Chris Lund. “We mark time by celebrating important milestones in our life and we want to celebrate this milestone with this special class. This senior class will be recognized in our history as experiencing the first national pandemic in a century.”

Mullan High School principal Don Kotschevar echoed Lund’s statements, but also highlighted that in small communities like Mullan, these celebrations simply cannot be overlooked.

“The majority of these students spent 13 years of their lives, they deserve something to celebrate that time,” Kotschevar said. “We are a small family in Mullan and need to celebrate this first step. I hope this is the first step in furthering their education and I wish each student a long and prosperous life.”

These ceremonies will be among the most unique graduations in both schools’ history, as aspects such as parked cars and empty gymnasiums are among the features that will be experienced during Friday evening’s ceremonies.

Mullan Jr./Sr. High School will hold its graduation with a limited ceremony at 6 tonight at the Mullan Pavilion.

According to MSD Superintendent Les Wells, the ceremony will not be open to the public and outside from the graduating students, it will only allow parents or guardians to attend.

Wallace Jr./Sr. High School’s ceremony will be at 7 tonight, and will happen in the parking lot, where families can watch the ceremony from their parked vehicles.

“I wish this class to continue to build on their strengths which they have developed here at Wallace Jr./Sr. High School, and remember the sense of community we foster here, and we encourage them to go far and dream big and remember there is always a place for them at home,” Lund said.