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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02e0000KPCW's COVID-19 news coverage for Summit County and Wasatch County, Utah. 0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02f0000You can also visit the Utah Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremonies Bring Pomp and Circumstance Outdoors

Park City School District

It's graduation season which means the area high schools are planning processions and ceremonies honoring the accomplishments of Wasatch Back high school seniors.


This year high school seniors throughout the Wasatch Back will gather to celebrate the auspicious transition from high school to adulthood. It's not a complete return to normal, though, as COVID-19 restrictions dictate social distancing and mask-wearing.


Approximately 500 Wasatch High School seniors will graduate on May 20 at the Wasatch Events Center starting at 5 p.m. Principal Tod Johnson said each student can have five guests. Still, they'll also stream the ceremony on their YouTube channel, Wasatch Sting TV.


“That's been our chosen location since it was built,” Johnson said. “We really like it because it seats more people than any other venue in our county, and it provides a roof overhead with still some ventilation for the spring and early summer. And so, we're going back to that venue and looking forward to it, especially after last year and some of the improvisation that was required to get any kind of a graduation last year.”


Park City High School will hold a June 3 graduation but not at the usual Dozier Field venue. Last year's COVID changes moved the ceremony to the North 40 Field next to PC Hill. 


Principal Roger Arbabi said it was a great success, and the students and parents liked the format.


"Memorial Day weekend--and so on Tuesday, we're actually setting up those fields,” he said. “We're going to provide some places for our seniors to go and take pictures to have three or four different scenes set up and parents are going to sign up and then we're going to take those on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have grad practice on Wednesday morning, and then on Thursday, we have another graduation practice. We're going to go through, and after graduation [practice], seniors are actually going to go and do a chairlift ride up Crescent Lift. Our high school marching band is going to be performing there. "


South Summit School District will graduate about 125 seniors from the high school and about seven from the Silver Summit Academy. South Summit High School graduation is Friday, May 28, on the football field. District spokesperson Jodi Jones said they're not going to restrict the number of guests.


“We are just asking families to self-limit the number of people they bring with them, maybe just bringing parents and siblings, maybe grandparents,” she said.


Seniors will celebrate with a dinner at the Red Barn in Oakley, a yearbook signing, and a campus-wide cleanup on the last day.


The Silver Summit Academy has seven seniors graduating on Thursday, May 27 at the Promontory Amphitheater.    


North Summit School District Superintendent Jerre Holmes said the senior class of 2021 is larger than most years. More than 90 seniors will graduate on Monday, May 24 in the high school auditorium. The event includes the traditional all-night party held for seniors at the high school.


"It's a great class, and they've really had to lead out with, with all of the restrictions and requirements and it hasn't been easy, wearing their masks and, and yet they did what they had to do,” Holmes said. “They tested when they needed to test to play. So we just appreciate that class and we had to have a leader somewhere and they were, along with our adults they were our leader so we're appreciative and hopefully we'll have a normal graduation they'll have their all-night party, and they deserve it."


Wasatch Principal Tod Johnson mentioned that the sunny spring conditions recently have affected the seniors in more ways than the usual seasonal conditions.


“It seems, you know, the nicer the weather, the more severe the senioritis is,” he said. 


Johnson said rainy days, thunderstorms, or even a snow event during the last weeks of school are not such a bad thing.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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