Mason, Madison high schools to host 1st-of-their-kind graduations

Ohio’s largest high school is planning to have one of the region’s most elaborate series of celebrations for its graduates later this month.

And another local high school plans to use a nearby, popular Butler County attraction to host its unusual graduation ceremony in May.

Mason High School’s 885 graduating seniors will have their diplomas hand-delivered to their homes — in a safe, coronavirus preventive fashion — by school officials.

There will also be a virtual, online group celebration and a safe-distance car parade through the southern Warren County school system commemorating the graduates.

Mason officials have also submitted a plan to state health officials about holding a more conventional graduation ceremony in the high school’s sports stadium at a later, to-be-determined date this summer.

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“Mason City Schools Board of Education, administrative team, teaching staff and bus drivers will personally deliver diplomas to students’ houses on Friday, May 22,” said Mason High School Principal Bobby Dodd in an announcement posted online.

“Seniors will have the opportunity to wear their caps, gowns and cords while they receive their diplomas, and have a photographer capture this (moment) in front of a specially decorated Class of 2020 Comet Connector Bus. Those photographs will be posted in a Facebook album on the Mason Schools Facebook page,” Dodd said.

Madison School officials also joined Mason and some other local districts in recently announcing non-traditional graduation ceremonies designed to adhere to state guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which prompted state officials in March to shut down all of Ohio’s K-12 schools.

Officials at the Butler County district announced Friday it had formed a partnership with the popular Land Of Illusion attraction to host a car caravan full of graduating Madison High School seniors and family members on May 22.

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“Madison is lucky to have a community partner like Land of Illusion who is donating the use of their Christmas trail for us to use as a ‘graduation trail’ for our senior class,” said Madison Schools Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff.

“In vehicles, our seniors and their families will follow the trail that will be adorned with senior portraits. At the end of the trail, seniors only will exit the vehicle to receive their diploma from the administration. This will allow our graduates to receive their diplomas with their family in attendance, just in the vehicle watching,” said Tuttle-Huff.

Mason officials said their series of events will also include a “May 24 at 2 p.m. Class of 2020 Graduation online ceremony.”

“Following the ceremony, the Class of 2020 will participate in a ‘CommUNITY’ parade in their honor … on a decentralized path throughout the Mason community so that there isn’t a central starting area which could lead to a mass gathering,” said Dodd.

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