By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Members of the Yukon High School Class of 2020 are invited to view the annual YHS Baccalaureate this Sunday afternoon before they officially graduate next Tuesday.
Only this year, the program will be presented as a livestream broadcast due to COVID-19.
Baccalaureate is a “farewell” religious service for graduating seniors, typically on the Sunday before commencement day.
All seniors who comprise the 611-member YHS graduating class are encouraged to watch the livestream baccalaureate program at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 17. That would have been when the in-person service would have started inside the Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, with seniors dressed in their caps and gowns.
Sunday afternoon’s service will be livestreamed at http://www.live.gn.church
This year’s baccalaureate has special meeting because it’s been 25 years since Yukon’s Wanda Gamble, her daughter Marci and other 1995 senior class officers helped “revive” the service for YHS graduates (see related story).
The annual YHS Baccalaureate presented by the YHS Class of 2020 officers is sponsored by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance, represented by Pastor Tom Arnould of Good News Church.
“We deliberated moving this year’s baccalaureate but decided to leave it on the original date and time, and livestream it out of our church,” Arnould said. “It will have all the elements of the traditional baccalaureate service, but only students participating in the service will be at Good News Church.”
Pastor Arnould, who has helped with the YHS Baccalaureate program since 2004, expects more viewers this Sunday than in past years.
“People are really looking for a sense of community and connection,” he said. “I anticipate having the livestream broadcast will be a net positive.
“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
Guest speaker for this Sunday afternoon’s livestream YHS Baccalaureate will be Dr. Jon Chasteen, pastor of Victory Church in Warr Acres.
YHS Class of 2020 President Kole Frederick will offer the invocation and welcome the featured speaker.
Class Vice President Tayah Morrison and Dylan Asher will give testimonies.
Songs will be performed by Jaxon Roof on acoustic guitar and Kali Grizzle and Javier Camacho on keyboard.
Class Treasurer Blake Gerber will introduce a video that will feature local teachers. Class Secretary Peyton Novosad also will offer a prayer.
This Sunday’s livestream YHS Baccalaureate will be followed two days later by the virtual YHS Commencement.
The commencement program will air at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 on Yukon Public Schools’ Facebook page.
Some 611 graduating seniors comprise the YHS Class of 2020.
Yukon Public Schools’ officials have made tentative plans to have an in-person graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 18 at Miller Stadium, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
The new YHS grads would be six feet apart with a limited number of family members spread out in the audience.
The last day of the 2019-20 school year was Friday, May 8.