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Kaukauna to hold ‘walking graduation’

Principal Corey Baumgartner has found a way to hold a graduation ceremony for the Kaukauna High School Class of 2020 on Wednesday, July 29, at Bank of Kaukauna Stadium.

Because of the coronavirus, the originally scheduled ceremony was cancelled in hopes that a ceremony could be held in late July. However, with the number of positive COVID cases as well as the percentage of positive tests being recorded climbing steadily in our area in recent weeks, Baumgartner modified the ceremony to be more personalized and family-friendly.

The “KHS Walking Graduation” starts at 6:30 p.m. Each graduate will line up outside of the main gate of the stadium within a prescribed timeframe based off of the first letter of their last name with up to no more than nine family members/guests to help them celebrate this important milestone within their life so they can remain within CDC guidelines. Protective face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Each graduate’s group will enter the stadium and remain socially distant from other groups as they access and walk along the track toward the main stage that will be located near the scoreboard within the stadium.

As each graduate reaches the stage they will present their name card to the announcer and ascend up onto the stage where they will be greeted by Baumgartner, Superintendent Mark Duerwaechter, and representatives of the board of education and receive their diploma cover.

Next, each student will be able to pick up their official diploma and copy of the senior class slideshow and then have their photo taken of themselves as well as one with their group of supporters by contracted photographers as a memento of their special day. Complimentary photos will be provided to each graduate as a gift from Kaukauna High School.

Groups will then be asked to continue walking around the track and leave the stadium once they have reached the designated exit.

“When making these adjustments we also recognize that some family members or spectators may not feel comfortable joining this celebration due to a variety of reasons,” Baumgartner said. “That is why we will be reserving our soccer complex parking lot for those individuals who would like to watch this ceremony from the comfort of their own cars for we will be having a large video wall which will have the ceremony projected to it along the north end of the lot.”

KHS staff members will be on the inside of the track during this ceremony to cheer on graduates as they reach the “finish line” of their respective high school career.

A virtual graduation ceremony containing the class speeches and commencement address will also be shared with each graduate and their families on Aug. 5.