By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Miller Stadium – which recently saw installation of a new artificial turf and resurfaced track – will be the site of Yukon High School’s Class of 2020 graduation ceremony.
The 611 members of this year’s graduating class will be honored during the in-person event set Saturday, July 18 on the new and improved field, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
The program starts at 10 a.m. but the ceremony will not be open to the public and admittance will be restricted.
“Each graduate will receive six numbered guest tickets to distribute to six guests of their choice,” according to a post on Yukon Public Schools’ Facebook page.
The ceremony will be live-streamed and available to access via the YPS Facebook page.
YHS’ traditional commencement that was set Tuesday, May 19 at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City was postponed due to the COVID-19 shutdown. This event is one of the highlights of each school year for graduating seniors, family members, educators, and administrators.
“We feel terrible about it,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said after the commencement was canceled in April. “But one of the things we’ve stressed is the health and well-being of our students and families.”
YHS did present a “virtual” commencement on the night of May 19 that was shown on the YPS Facebook page.
Gov. Stitt’s multi-phase reopening plan has allowed YPS officials to plan the July 18th in-person ceremony in Yukon.
YHS Principal Melissa Barlow expressed her appreciation for the patience of the new YHS graduates and their families.
“It will be a pleasure to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of the members of this graduating class,” Barlow said.
The program will follow social distancing guidelines with students staying at least six feet apart and a limited audience watching from the stands.
Attendees are encouraged – but not required – to wear facemasks. Everyone who attends is advised to wear sunscreen, bring sunglasses and hydrate.
YHS graduates wishing to participate in the July 18th ceremony must attend a practice at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 16 in the auxiliary gym when they receive their guest tickets.
Senior Sunset and Project Graduation-sponsored festivities will follow the graduation practice.
Oklahoma’s 2019-20 school year ended prematurely on May 8 due to the public health emergency.
Social distancing regulations and crowd restrictions prompted by the virus forced all large gatherings to be canceled or postponed.
Principal Barlow called this year’s graduates an “outstanding class” comprised of kind, caring students.
“As a whole, they have always focused on giving back to their fellow students and the community,” she said.
“They put others before themselves, which is evidenced by the many charitable contributions and service to their community.”
Valedictorians of the YHS Class of 2020 are:
Colton DeKinder, Liana Feronti, Presli Findley, Cole Fredrick, Halle Funkhouser, Lois Garner, Nickolas Hennigh, Steven Howell, Hannah Kurtz, Kohl Kimmel, Tristan LaRose, Mackenzie Moon, Tayah Morrison, Justin Ogle, Justin Ogletree, Mason O’Hara, Payton Sanderson, Caleb Seright, Kaitlyn Tess, Emma Thompson, Minh Tran, and Mason Wrather.
YHS Class of 2020 officers are: President Kole Frederick, Vice President Tayah Morrison, Secretary Peyton Novosad, and Treasurer Blake Gerber.