A nontraditional commencement ceremony honors the class of 2020

Pictured above are class president Annika Carlson, Regina Dubeansky and Amanda Jay. (Photography: Prelude Photography)

By Mimi Vanderhaven

The teachers and staff of Mentor High School have gone the extra mile and then some to make this graduation season special for the 595 class of 2020 students.

“We did our best to create a commencement that’s as close as possible to what a normal one would be,” says Principal Jason Crowe. “In staggered numbers, each student walked the stage at the Fine Arts Center and received his or her diploma, with their families in attendance. Then, we spliced that together with our choir singing the National Anthem and our alma mater, as well as inspirational speeches from Superintendent William Porter, myself, Grade 12 Principal Christl Wolf, and three class speakers: class president Annika Carlson, Regina Dubeansky and Amanda Jay. To capture the moment, following the ceremony we provided a professional photographer to take a free digital photo.”

The commencement will be aired on Saturday, June 27, via Cardinal TV’s Youtube channel.

In addition to commencement, the school district put together a senior celebration presentation that featured each senior’s picture, a baby picture and an image of the college they will attend in the fall.

The Mentor community also rallied around the graduates. Parents organized an “Adopt a Senior” program. The Hooley House donated a $10 gift card to each of the graduates. And local families organized and provided “Class of 2020” window signs for the kids.

Principal Crowe notes that many exceptional Mentor High School students have been awarded academic and athletic scholarships to colleges from Rhode Island to California. The school is also proud to report 13 students will be entering the military, and many are going on to technical schools and directly into the workforce.

“If I have one word to describe this impressive group of students, it would be perseverance,” he says. “They have already overcome many obstacles and are only stronger for them, uniquely prepared for what lies ahead. We wish them happiness and success in their next steps of life.”

The Mentor School system educates 7,660 students from pre-K to grade 12 in seven elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school and one school for students with autism. For updates, visit MentorSchools.net.