DuBOIS — With Clearfield County being among the 17 counties that will move into the green phase on Friday, the DuBois Area School District is now planning a blended graduation ceremony to include an abbreviated in-person ceremony as well as a virtual ceremony for the Class of 2020.
“From the start, it’s been our goal to provide our graduates with the absolute best possible sendoff that we can give them under the current guidelines,” said DuBois Area High School Dean of Students Chuck Pasternak in announcing this Friday’s graduation details.
The event will kick off with the 2020 Parade of Graduates, he said.
Students and parents who wish to participate in the parade will need to report to the high school between 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday. Parade participants must be at the high school with their vehicle no later than 6:30 p.m. to be placed in the parade line-up.
Due to parade permit regulations, the parade will be limited to one vehicle per graduate, said Pasternak, noting that family members are welcome to ride with or drive their graduate. Graduates may also ride together with other graduates if they would like to do so.
Pasternak said graduates are encouraged to decorate their vehicles — for example, perhaps a sign with their name, high school activities and plans after graduation.
Due to safety regulations (oncoming traffic will not be closed down), all parade participants must remain inside their vehicles throughout the parade, said Pasternak.
The parade will depart from DAHS at 7 p.m. and end at the DuBois Area Middle School on Liberty Boulevard.
Once parked at the middle school, graduates will report to the area around the greenhouse to begin lining up for the processional into Mansell Stadium. Family members will enter the stadium main gate and take a seat in the home team bleachers. The district is asking for full cooperation from each family to take seats in a manner where they maintain appropriate social distancing (6 feet apart) from the families of other graduates. The use of face masks is encouraged.
At 8:15 p.m., the graduates will begin the processional into Mansell Stadium for the commencement ceremony. The live portion of the ceremony will include:
- The “Star-Spangled Banner” and DAHS Alma Mater
- The presentation and recommendation of the senior class by high school Principal Brian Weible
- The acceptance by the board of directors by President Larry Salone
- The roll call of graduates and presentation of diplomas
- Declaration of graduates and moving of tassels by Pasternak
At approximately 9:20 p.m., the pre-recorded 2020 DAHS commencement ceremony will begin playing on the large outdoor screen which will be located inside the stadium.
Because the link to the ceremony will be made available for everyone to download through the district website, the district encourages family and friends to plan their own private watch parties of the graduation ceremony to help celebrate this occasion. This ceremony, including all speeches, performances, and announcements of graduates and their future plans will also be broadcast live over Sunny 106.5 FM.
In the event of inclement weather, the rain date for the parade and outdoor viewing of the ceremony will be Saturday. A final determination on the events and any accompanying announcements to utilize the rain date will be made by 3 p.m. Friday, Pasternak said.
The district expresses appreciation to the many people who have come together and worked very hard to provide the Class of 2020 “with the most special send-off possible in these unprecedented times,” said Pasternak. They include: Brennan and Mandi Bell, Tri-County Church, Joelle Watt Photography, the entire district staff and administration, local media, DuBois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio, DuBois Mayor Randy Schmidt, DuBois Police Chief Blaine Clark and the police department, Sandy Township Police Chief Kris Kruzelak and the township police department, School Police Officer in Charge Janice Bart and SPOs, DuBois City Fire Chief Joe Mitchell and the fire department, the Sandy Township, Reynoldsville, Falls Creek, Union Township, Brady Township, Penfield and Sykesville Volunteer Fire Departments, Downtown DuBois Inc. Executive Director Julie Stewart, Penn State DuBois, Avery Vinyl Graphics, LaBue Printing and other DuBois Area businesses who have assisted in painting the town red, black and white.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The district announced Thursday afternoon that all activities, including the seniors' practice, the parade and graduation ceremony at Mansell Stadium, have been postponed until Saturday because of inclement weather being forecast for Friday evening. All of the times are the same; it's just Saturday now instead of Friday.