School Hosts Socially Distant Graduation Ceremony On Ski Lifts
New Hampshire’s Kennett High School hosted their 2020 graduation at a local mountain resort
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation ceremonies are looking a little different in 2020. While some schools are opting to keep their celebrations completely virtual, others have gotten incredibly creative by hosting socially distant, in-person, graduation ceremonies. One school, located near a ski resort in New Hampshire, decided to honor their 2020 graduates from the summit via chairlift, and the photos are truly awe-inspiring.
On Saturday, June 13, 2020 at Kennett High School’s class of 2020 graduated from the summit of Cranmore Mountain via chairlift. While the ceremony was a private event, the school broadcast it online, so that friends and family could be present in spirit and experience all of the traditional speeches and announcements of awards typically presented at graduation.
Here’s how it worked. Saturday morning, the 174 2020 graduates and their ticketed guests arrived at the base of the mountain. Then, they hopped on the chairlift and rode it to the top. Groups were spaced out accordingly for social distancing purposes. After getting off the lift, they walked up and received their diplomas. After taking photos, the graduate and their guests rode the chairlift back down the mountain and the next student would head up for their moment.
Student were thrilled to be able to participate in any kind of graduation ceremony amid the pandemic. “I am so excited about this year’s graduation plans. I never anticipated graduating this way, but I am so happy to be doing it,” graduating senior Sophie Stimpson said in a press release. “I think the entire thing just really represents our community and our way of togetherness so well, which I think is really amazing. I also think this is the best way of celebrating us seniors so nicely, while still maintaining social distancing. This is honestly probably a cooler way to graduate than just walking across a stage too.”
“Though we faced challenges, especially this year, and despite whatever hardships we all
individually faced over the years, we made it to the end of this chapter of our lives. We’re strong enough now to continue on in life and make a real difference,” Stimpson added.
Principal Kevin Carpenter explains that holding the ceremony on the summit was actually a parent’s idea. “We were brainstorming socially distant ways to celebrate graduation outside of a virtual or drive by ceremony. A parent shared their idea of holding the ceremony at the summit of Cranmore and to us it made perfect sense,” he shared. “It didn’t seem like the alternative options would be enough for these students, who are already missing out on so much. We presented the idea to Cranmore and they loved it. It’s not your traditional graduation, but it will be a special one for sure.”