Graduation ceremony 2021 | Eastmont and Wenatchee return to more traditional ceremonies | New
WENATCHEE – It was a beautiful night in the Wenatchee Valley on Friday as Eastmont and Wenatchee High Schools celebrated their Class of 2021 graduation ceremonies, Wenatchee at Apple Bowl and Eastmont at Wildcat Stadium.
The Eastmont graduates entered Wildcat Stadium through the east and west gates with the girls dressed in red and the boys in blue. The Wenatchee graduates entered the Apple Bowl from the West Area dressed in purple. Both schools entered with traditional graduation music.
What a difference a year makes.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the two schools to hold virtual graduation ceremonies. This year, the ceremonies were held in person, but with many precautions for the ongoing pandemic.
“Obviously, social distancing and some of the COVID regulations are still at play,” said Diana Haglund, spokesperson for the Wenatchee School District. “We had to limit the number of people who came to the Apple Bowl, so it’s a little different.”
The mask was compulsory during both graduation ceremonies. Graduates from each school received four tickets each. There were 450 graduates for Wenatchee and 460 graduates for Eastmont.
Those present were seated in groups of four in both places, on the field and in the stands.
“In our bleachers and in the field, we have four-seat modules where families can sit with a distance of six feet between them. It was quite a chore to map it all out, ”said Stacia Hardie, vice-principal of Eastmont High School,“ That way a family unit can come together. “
Both schools also had large screens in each location to allow people far away to see the speakers better, but also to view the pre-recorded portions of the program. Wenatchee presented a pre-recorded speech by Alumnus of the Year Heidi Schreck. And all the musical performances, which would normally be presented live, have been pre-recorded for the big screen.
Normally, Eastmont’s graduation ceremony takes place at the Town Toyota Center, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hardie said they decided to hold the ceremony at Wildcat Stadium.
For Wenatchee, hosting the ceremony at the Apple Bowl was about upholding a long-standing tradition.
“It seems more normal and it’s really good that the students can benefit from the traditions that we have enjoyed for so many years. Being on the field at the Apple Bowl is truly a moment in the lives of our graduates that they look forward to. It’s just a location, but it’s more than that, ”Haglund said.
While the two ceremonies were different due to the many COVID regulations, the elderly were able to enjoy the typical activities leading up to graduation.
Many Wenatchee seniors arrived on graduation morning at school in traditional style – on roller skates, inline skates, scooters, skateboards and bikes. They also walked their senior back through Wenatchee High School surrounded by their peers and staff. After that, the elderly enjoyed a parent’s day before the graduation rehearsal.
The Eastmont seniors took Eastmont down on the senior scooter. Then they had their senior celebration with parents before the graduation rehearsal on Thursday morning. On Wednesday there was an awards ceremony for the elderly at Wildcat Stadium and that night was the prom.
On graduation night, Eastmont announced his Boy and Girl of the Year award. Max Prazer was Boy of the Year and Makenna Schwab (featured on page A9) was Girl of the Year.