SYCAMORE - Sycamore District 427 superintendent Kathy Countryman announced plans for the high school's graduation ceremony this year, a virtual ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 24.
"While not exactly how we wanted things to go," Countryman said, "safety has to come first and we want to provide it with the guidance provided."
Countryman also announced plans for a prom court and senior awards night, all scheduled for May.
For graduation, Countryman said that diplomas, programs, caps and gowns will be mailed to students ahead of time. The salutatorian and valedictorian will be announced at the ceremony, and there will be filming of staff speakers remotely ahead of time to show during the event.
Students names and photos will be shown as their name is announced. The high school choir will perform through a filmed piece.
Countryman said the event will be shown on SpartanTV and on the district's social media sites. She said there's also plans to allow the valedictorian speak in a recorded segment as well.
If guidance allows, there will be free graduation photos taken on campus in July and a reception August 2.
"I know it's not the experience we want to have for our seniors but we're the victims of the pandemic, the victims of our times," school board president Dave Dombek said. "It's painful to go through currently, not having a prom or graduation but in 20 years when they talk about graduation they'll have a tale to tell. I think this will become an event to be proud of but as present time it seems pretty devastating for them."
Countryman said the prom court voting is going on now and will be announced May 11. The king and queen will be announced May 16, the say the prom was scheduled.
Students may submit photos in prom attire to be showcased in the king and queen video. A late summer gathering is being planned if guidance allows.
Countryman said senior award night earned $300,000 in scholarships for students last year alone and she wanted the event this year. It will be held at 7 p.m. May 21 in a virtual setting. Student MCs and scholarship presenters will record their segments ahead of time. It will air of SpartanTV and the district's social media pages.
"While not in person, the generosity of the community is amazing," Countryman said. "I'm looking forward to seeing these students receive these awards on this night."